Leibniz Institute for New Materials
It's certainly a hassle when a car gets a big paint-scratch, but smaller scratches in its clear coat are much more common and still unsightly. A new corn-based transparent finish could help, as its scratches heal up when subjected to heat.
Earthworms are usually quite clean, despite the fact that they live in the dirt. That's because they're constantly secreting a lubricating layer of mucus, which keeps that dirt from sticking. Scientists have now replicated that quality in a new material that could have numerous applications.
In various types of manufacturing, parts are picked and placed using graspers or suction cups. The former can damage fragile items, however, while the latter won't work in vacuums. That's why scientists have developed a new material that utilizes the same principle as gecko feet.