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December 5 2012

Shape-Remembering Hydrogels Are the First Step Towards a Real-Life T-1000


A team of researchers at Cornell University, led by professor Dan Luo, has developed a new kind of hydrogel made from synthesized and interwoven DNA, like a microscopic bird's nest. In the presence of H2O the hydrogel forms and holds a pre-determined shape. But in the absence of water, the material flows like any other liquid. If that sounds familiar, you've probably seen Terminator 2.

The researchers aren't entirely sure why the material behaves this way just yet, but they think that the forces responsible for holding its shape are so weak that surface tension and gravity are enough to cause it to collapse.

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