Novel polymer changes shape just by touching with a finger — lifts 1,000 times its own weight doing so

A multiple-exposure image of a new shape-memory polymer reverting to its original shape after being exposed to body temperature. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

This polymer can change shape and release tremendous amounts of stored elastic energy relative to its weight simply by being exposed to a temperature change. This in itself isn’t exactly new, but the team led by Chemical Engineering Professor Mitch Anthamatten at the University of Rochester innovated by making the polymer react to room temperature — a first.

Grass could help design comfy, super-thin condoms

Spinifex. Image via Wiki Commons.

Grass could enable researchers to create the new generation of condoms and make our lives a little bit better. A team from the University of Queensland found a feasible way to extract nanocellulose from the grass and use it as an additive in latex. If you think about it, condoms haven’t changed that much in past decades. Ever since latex became

How our ancestor’s promiscuous genes became more discriminating.

Gene families are made up of different genes with similar genetic sequences.  They arise through gene duplications the allow evolution to take place in the copy, taking on new functions.

A new study examined the way gene families evolve from ancestral genes, finding the original genes were promiscuous in that they had a wider range of function than the later descendant genes, which often evolved to be more selective in their effects.

Transplant Organizations issue a guidance statement regarding Zika virus

transplant surgery

The transplant community has established a new committee to address the recent Zika virus outbreak, and protect organ transplant patients from the potential dangers of the virus.

How Albert Einstein broke the Periodic Table

Albert Einsteins theory of relativity breaks the periodic nature of the Periodic Table of elements in certain very heavy atoms.

In a study published in the January 19, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), scientists at Tsinghua University in China confirmed that something very unusual is happening inside extremely heavy atoms, causing them to deviate from their expect chemical behavior predicted by their place on the Periodic Table of Elements.

Trillion fps camera shoots advancing light waves

trillion fps camera

How fast can your camera shoot? 60 frames per second, maybe 100? If you’ve got a good one, maybe 1000, or maybe you’re super pro and you shoot 10.000 fps. Puh-lease! The new MIT camera shoots at 1 trillion fps – that’s frames every second ! Think of it this way: 1 trillion seconds is over 31,688 years; so

The squishy bot revolution: how soft robotics is changing the field

octopus arm robot

Soft robotics involves machines designed to resemble biological systems like squids, caterpillars, starfish, human hands and more. Though far less practical at this point, soft robots could prove invaluable soon enough. ZME Science looked at a couple of some of the most amazing designs made by scientists so far.

First robot-run farm to be opened in Japan

Image via Spread.

Robots really are starting to take over jobs – a company in Japan has just announced they will open the world’s first “robot farm”.

Facebook turns six degrees of separation into 3.57


The idea of six degrees of separation was introduced more than 80 years ago. It suggests that you are six introductions away from meeting anyone in the world. In other words, everyone in the world is connected through a chain of six links. For some, fewer introductions are required to come in direct contact with Barrack Obama or Stephen Hawking. A study made at Facebook suggests that, among its users at least, there are now only 3.57 degrees of separation on average.

German nuclear fusion machine starts running

This machine, called W7-X, cost approximately $1.1 billion, has a diameter of 52 feet (16 meters) and took 19 years to construct; the GIF above shows the layers of the machine.

German scientists have turned on a device called a stellerator, the largest of its kind. The machine could pave the way for nuclear fusion, a clean and safe type of nuclear power.