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A Cheap, Fast Way to Write Nanoscale Patterns

Today’s microchips, communications gear, and medical diagnostics are typically made by writing nanoscale patterns over large areas of silicon wafers and other high-tech materials. The process is either extremely expensive or painfully slow, however. Now scientists have come up with a hybrid approach that could offer researchers a way to … More


ScienceShot: Formaldehyde in Clothing Nothing to Sneeze At

You can cross one item off your worry list: the amount of formaldehyde in your clothes. Used since the 1920s to reduce wrinkles, formaldehyde is known to cause allergic skin reactions in some people. But in a study released this summer by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, researchers tested 180 … More


Metal Smasher Makes Aluminum as Strong as Steel

Snuffing out a cigarette butt with a 10-ton boot would be excessive, but using the equivalent on certain metals can yield amazing results. By smashing an aluminum alloy between two anvils, researchers have created a metal that’s as strong as steel but much lighter. If the process can be commercialized, … More


Malagasy Spiders Spin the World’s Toughest Biological Material

Like an engineer accounting for a skyscraper swaying in the wind, Madagascar’s Darwin’s bark spider (Caerostris darwini) spins enormous, river-spanning webs that stretch and contract as the trees to which they’re anchored bend this way and that. A new study finds that this spider’s silk is the toughest biomaterial yet … More