This is not some weirdo photography of a female body part. It's actually an artificial vocal cord created by a group of scientists over at MIT.
Plastic polymers are efficient, cheap and easy to make—but not very environmentally friendly. Hydrogels had previously not been really considered a viable alternative, because they're, well, gels. But by attaching them to clay, that's all changed.
Researchers at Penn State have cooked up a new plastic that can be cooled by simply running a current through it. It uses the electrocaloric effect to rearrange its individual atoms when charged, allowing for heat to more easily come and go. By wrapping up a chip in the stuff and zapping it with current, researchers…
There is a new material that can heal itself in case of a scratch. It uses a concentrated polymeric ink, which flows out of a vascular system that mimics our own skin. The healing stops after seven cycles but "this limitation might be overcome by implementing a new microvascular design based on dual networks."