Topic: materials science

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Seashell inspiration: Growing cement bricks with bacteria

Imagine an 8-year-old girl studying a seashell on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1985. It's her first trip to the beach and it's a moment that will set the course of her career: “The 8-year-old version of mys...

Almost-invisible hydrogel robots that can grab quickly

These almost-invisible robot hands can grab things quickly. MIT engineers have been working to create a durable gel formula that can be 3-D printed and laser cut into soft robotic parts, like flapping fish fins or gen...

The Fungi in Your Future: Mushroom leather, furniture, and more

Mushrooms come in a wide variety of species, they recycle dead plants which helps to create nutrient soil, and they can be turned into food, furniture, packaging, leather, and more. Enter MycoWorks, a team of engineer...

Edible milk-based packaging, an alternative to plastic

At the grocery store, most foods — meats, breads, cheeses, snacks — come wrapped in plastic packaging. Not only does this create a lot of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste, but thin plastic films are not great a...

The Hidden World of Chocolate

You've seen chocolate... but have you seen it under a scanning electron microscope? Johns Hopkins University grad student Jennifer Dailey leads students through a bit of chocolate testing: heating and cooling chocolat...

How Google[x]’s Project Loon Tests Its Giant Internet Balloons

What if massive pumpkin-shaped balloons could bring internet access to rural and remote locations around the planet? Google[x], which also developed Google Glass and Google's Driverless Car, has a team working on gian...

Mimicking shark skin to combat superbugs – Think Like a Tree

In 2001, materials scientist Dr. Anthony Brennan observed that Galapagos Sharks are barnacle and algae-free due to the micro-topography of their skin. These diamond pattern nanoridges also make it difficult for bacter...

How An Airplane Is Made – MinutePhysics

Travel to France with Minute Physics' Henry Reich for a behind-the-scenes tour of the factories, research, and design facilities of Airbus. This is how an A350 is built! There's also a cameo by Beluga, Airbus' special...

Flying a quadcopter above Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers

High above Watts, Los Angeles, a quadcopter flies around Watts Towers, filmed by YouTuber PC3DM. Music: Now by Ernie Watts (no relation). For over 30 years, Italian-American construction worker and outsider artist...

To the Scientists of the Future: Materials science with EUPHRATES

Created by EUPHRATES and Masahiko Sato for Japan's National Institute for Material Science (NIMS), these three "To the Scientists of the Future" short films are a mesmerizing combination of materials research innovati...

Sixteen year old Elif Bilgin turned banana peels into a bioplastic

After two years of research, experiments, and failed trials, 16-year-old Elif Bilgin developed a new process for turning banana peels into a non-decaying bioplastic, a more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based ...

Biodegradable mushroom packaging from Ecovative Designs

What if we could replace plastics and styrofoam with something much more sustainable? Something that wouldn’t fill our landfills, pollute our beaches, or float out into our ocean gyres? ...

Tomás Saraceno’s Solar Bell: A paper-thin, kite-like wind sculpture

Solar Bell, a kite-like wind sculpture made of lighter-than-air materials — carbon fiber tubing and paper-thin solar panels — by Argentinian artist Tomàs Saraceno, in association with the Aerospace Enginee...

Picking up NASA’s 2,200 degree thermal tiles with bare hands

Recorded on a Kennedy Space Center tour before the launch of the last Space Shuttle mission (Atlantis), watch tour attendees pick up NASA’s 2,200 degree thermal tiles — specially designed, coated LI-900 c...

Solar Cells – Material Marvels with Ainissa Ramirez

Science Evangelist and Former Associate Professor of Materials Science at Yale University, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, explains how sandwiches of silicon (in solar cells) can create energy from sunlight. The sun? Elements...