The military’s M.R.E.--the Meal Ready to Eat, or those air-sealed packages full of gummy pastes and freeze-dried dreck that soldiers carry into the field--is getting a much-needed upgrade. But it’s not in the form of better tasting dehydrated foods or better freeze-drying technology. Rather, the U.S. Army has developed the world’s most cutting edge sandwich, the BBC reports, one that can be served fresh after sitting on the shelf for a full two years.
A new coating material for food packaging could keep sodas fizzy, chips crispy and military rations more edible, scientists say. It’s made of a thin film of nanoscale bits of clay, the same kind used to make bricks, mixed with polymers. When viewed under an electron microscope, the film looks like bricks and mortar, according to its creator.
If you've got an electronic device, you need power either in the form of a cable or a battery. If you've got a battery, you still need a means of charging it. And if you're in the military, you know that you never have exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Which is why South Korean battery makers have created the MetalCell, a magnesium battery based on 2,000-year-old technology that can be charged with saltwater or, barring that, urine.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.