More than 50 years ago, Russian scientists discovered that simple Scotch tape emits x-rays when peeled off glass. New research conducted by colleagues at UCLA has determined that the power that the tape generates is much higher than anyone could have imagined. In fact, they have constructed a machine that generates x-rays by peeling up Scotch tape in a vacuum at the rate of 3 centimeters per second. As you can see in the recent demo they did for the journal Nature , their device was able to successfully generate an x-ray of a finger. The researchers believe that this "technology" could eventually be refined to make inexpensive medical devices for developing countries. They have even applied for a patent that would cover such devices. In the meantime, using Scotch tape in normal situations should not produce any harmful effects, although one researcher on the project noted: "If you're going to peel tape in a vacuum, you should be extra careful." But "I will continue to use Scotch tape during my daily life, and I think it's safe to do it in your office. No guarantees." "No guarantees?" I would expect media fear mongers to run with that one. "What everyday household item causes cancer? We'll tell you at 11." [CNN and Wired Science ]