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Carbon Nanotubes Were An Ancient Superweapon

There’s a reason why we call it the “march of progress” instead of the “moonwalk of progress.” Technology is meant to move steadily forward, but there are still plenty of times when tech has inexplicably reversed course on us. One of the most striking examples are Damascus swords.
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This Huge Engineering Project May Be Our Best Chance At Colonizing Space

Space colonization has reached an impasse, for reasons far more fundamental than a lack of money for the Space Shuttle program. There is simply no way humans can travel easily offworld without using massive amounts of rocket fuel to escape the gravity well — and that’s both expensive and environmentally unsustainable.… » 2/04/15 2:32pm 2/04/15 2:32pm

This Cheap Sensor Will Tell Your Phone When Food Goes Bad

Some MIT eggheads invented a very impressive and very inexpensive sensor that stands to protect you against anything from a bomb to a bad pack of beef. And it's so simple. The new sensor is just a modified near field communication (NFC) chip that can detect the presence of specific gases with the help of carbon… » 12/08/14 5:30pm 12/08/14 5:30pm

Why NASA Launched One of the Blackest Materials Ever Made Into Space

A few years ago, we looked at NASA's long project to design a paint so black, it would absorb nearly every bit of light around it (that's it above, in the "D" spot). Now, NASA has finally launched the stuff into space—which means that the six-year effort to make it is finally paying off. So, why is this such a vital… » 8/22/14 10:25am 8/22/14 10:25am

Carbon Nanotube Transistors That'll Save Moore's Law Are Coming in 2020

Our world of amazingly tiny electronics is about to get even tinier. After a decade of research, IBM says it'll bring carbon nanotube transistors to market by 2020. The company is now readying the technology to take over from silicon transistors, and that opens up a lot of exciting doors. » 7/01/14 10:26am 7/01/14 10:26am

Tiny Copper and Carbon Nanotube Wires Increase Current Flow 100 Fold

Researchers in Japan have developed an incredibly thin wire—just half a micrometer in diameter—made from a new composite material composed of traditional copper and those new fangled carbon nanotubes. But what makes this creation particularly awesome is that the new wire allows over 100 times more current to flow than… » 1/30/14 12:20pm 1/30/14 12:20pm

Carbon Nanotubes Can Now Fireproof Your Furniture

If you've ever lamented the fact that putting your sofa right next to a warm crackling fireplace was dangerous, carbon nanotubes might one day come to the rescue—again. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology—or NIST—have created a carbon nanotube-based coating that makes the foam used in… » 1/17/14 12:20pm 1/17/14 12:20pm

The First Carbon Nanotube Computer: The Hyper-Efficient Future Is Here

Coming just a year after the creation of the first carbon nanotube computer chip, scientists have just built the very first actual computer with a central processor centered entirely around carbon nanotubes. Which means the future of electronics just got tinier, more efficient, and a whole lot faster. » 9/25/13 6:20pm 9/25/13 6:20pm

Scientists Found a New Way to Turn Plastic Bags into a Supermaterial

Have you ever had a roommate who saves plastic grocery bags just in case they ever have the need to reuse the dang things? Like, hundreds of plastic grocery bags? Well, thanks to some Australian engineers, those extra bags can not only have a purpose, they can become technology of the future. » 9/25/13 12:20pm 9/25/13 12:20pm

The World's Tiniest Saw Is Made From Diamond-Coated Carbon Nanotubes

You know all that sawdust you're left with when hacking through a piece of lumber? It's a minor inconvenience for carpenters, but a huge problem for electronics manufacturers cutting expensive materials like silicon wafers on the microscopic scale. So researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have found a way to make… » 8/09/13 2:20pm 8/09/13 2:20pm

Muscles Made From Wax-Filled Yarn Are Way Stronger Than Yours

The expansion and contraction of muscles keeps us alive every second of every day. Even though it's such a basic part of our existance, creating artificial muscles has proven to be a bit more complicated. That is, until now. Scientists have recently found what could be a good solution: yarn full of wax. » 11/16/12 12:40pm 11/16/12 12:40pm