Metamaterials research has generally focused on media with strange or unique electromagnetic properties, like the ability to bend light or sound in an unnatural way, but materials scientists at Northwestern University are experimenting with an entirely new kind of material with unique mechanical properties. A team there has designed materials with “negative compressibility” that in theory will compress when they are pulled and expand when they are compressed.
A dash of this, a pinch of that, and it seems researchers at Northwestern have cooked up a new class of nanostructures that aren't just ideal for such applications as gas storage or medical technologies, but also edible. The team, which began their research with a completely different outcome in mind, found that their recipe produced natural and edible metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), porous crystalline structures with unique properties that are usually difficult to make and composed of toxic petroleum products.
In the great media reshuffling ushered in by the Internet Age, print journalists have suffered the most from online journalism’s ascent. Broadcast journalists, however, may be the next group to feel technology’s cruel sting. Engineers at Northwestern University have created virtual newscasts that use artificial intelligence to collect stories, produce graphics and even anchor broadcasts via avatars.
Remember when, as a kid, you would pen secret messages with "disappearing ink" by writing on paper with lemon juice? A team of researchers at Northwestern have taken the idea just a little bit further, engineering a nanoparticle ink that fades away at a predetermined time, keeping maps or messages away from spying eyes.