Tagged With carbon nanotubes

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Popeye was right when it came to the health benefits of spinach, but that simple sailor man couldn't have predicted this unorthodox use of the superfood. Researchers at MIT have found a way to use spinach to detect explosive materials in soil, potentially making the plant a safe way to detect landmines.

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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 nanotubes.

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Researchers in Japan have developed an incredibly thin wire — just half a micrometre 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 a traditional copper thread.

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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 furniture considerably less flammable.

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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 incredibly precise ultra-thin saws from carbon nanotubes covered with an outer layer of lab-grown diamonds.

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It's been a big year for the space sciences. The first privately-held spacecraft orbited our world, the blackest material in history was created, researchers expanded the list of possible sources of life threefold; and that was just in December.

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Even though not all of you will understand what "superhydrophobic carbon nanotubes" actually are, everyone will appreciate this video of water droplets shot at varying frame-rate speeds of up to 3500fps. Except for Martians, perhaps.

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As concerned as we are about memory, we haven't done much to preserve it. Most of our hard drives don't last past 30 years. But soon, using diamond-like carbon nanotubes, even your Gizmodo comments could last practically forever.