It's not often a student actually gets to create their idea, let alone have the US Department of Defense sponsor it. But Cornell University student Jennifer Keane's cloth mask could have major impact on the army; firefighters and countless other professions.
Constructed using metal organic framework molecules (MOFs) of clustered crystalline compounds, the hood and mask filtrates gases but intelligently so: they can actually reconstruct themselves to form a "cage" to trap whatever the particular gas may be.
The university has stated what the future is for this cloth, but with the DoD already investing money in it, I'm sure we'll be seeing some innovative uses for it along the way. [Physorg]