Fish slime could be the future of fabric (and other things we didn't cover)
The world of nature can be quite surprising. From slime-producing fish to gas-producing cows, get a load of today's GeekBytes.
Researchers from the University of Warwick have come up with a new material that can be used to produce custom electronic devices using 3D printing. The material is a combination of the conductive Carbon Black (which is produced by incomplete combustion of tar products) and polycaprolactone (PCL), a biodegradable modeling plastic. Combine these two substances and you get a new material called "carbomorph." Carbomorph can be used to print objects with touch-sensitive buttons or flex sensors, such as a customized videogame controller or a mug that can tell you much coffee you have left. [via Gizmag]
Many synthetic fibers are made of petroleum, but what will happen when petroleum reserves get depleted? New research from the University of Guelph has found a surprising alternative source: the hagfish. Being an eel-like fish that many other fish find tasty, the hagfish can produce gallons of slime as a protective measure.
Apparently, the slime is made up of tens of thousands of threads, and each one is 100 times thinner than spider silk. By collecting these protein threads, the researchers have managed to create strands of fiber that could be used to create the synthetic fibers of the future. There's more to slime than meets the eye! [via CleanTechinca]
Cow-emitted gas—or in laymen terms, farts and burps—are a serious concern when it comes to global warming. How can we stop it? By placing tiny winged robots inside the cows' stomach, of course!
As part of a project by The Sustainable Agriculture Flagship in Australia, wireless robots equipped with infrared sensors will monitor the amount of methane the cows release. The data will be transmitted to the outside world, where scientists will be able to devise a better diet for the gas-emitting cows. Because the robots are winged, they can last in the cows for quite a while and provide information to scientists for the long term. [via Co.EXIST]