Artificial Photosynthesis: Twice as Efficient as the Real Thing

The artificial leaf is poised to be one of the next big breakthroughs in energy. If we can learn to mimic the biological mechanism by which plants convert solar energy into hydrogen, the sky is the limit. Millions of years of evolution have already proved the worth of photosynthesis, even if it's not all that… »12/16/11 11:00am12/16/11 11:00am

How carnivorous plants could give us self-cleaning, self-repairing walls

There's a long and storied tradition of scientists getting fantastic ideas from nature, as there are few finer testing labs than the requirements of natural selection. The newest breakthrough in materials science based on a plant is Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces — or SLIPS. And it could one day give us… »9/23/11 3:08pm9/23/11 3:08pm

New nanomaterial could detect, disarm bombs, save our airport dignity

A newly-discovered nanomaterial could provide a fast and easy way to detect and disarm explosives, and finally get the TSA out of our pants. The material is a compound of molybdenum that reacts with peroxide-based explosives, changing color from a deep blue to a pale yellow. A swatch or sensor of the stuff could be… »4/01/11 5:00pm4/01/11 5:00pm