In the last decade, there have been major advances in creating synthetic skin — the scientific quest for "Terminator"-type self-healing materials has been many a researcher's mission. Some of the earlier attempts required impractical high temperatures for self-healing to occur. Others could repair themselves at room temperature, but only once. And importantly, all previous self-healing materials lacked the crucial property of being able to conduct electricity, which is required for sensing and interfacing.
But now, Stanford chemical engineering professor Zhenan Bao and her team have come up with a design that offers both the self-healing ability of a plastic polymer and the conductivity of a metal. The secret? A plastic consisting of long-chain molecules joined by hydrogen bonds, to which nanoscale particles of nickel were added for conductivity and increased mechanical strength.
The result was a polymer with unusual characteristics: the sci-fi ability to repair itself, along with flexibility, conductivity and, for those of you who are tactile-minded, the feel of saltwater taffy.
The molecules easily break apart, but when they reconnect, the bonds reorganize themselves and restore the structure to the pre-break state. The researchers tested the material by cutting a strip of it in half, and then gently pressing it back together. After a few seconds the material returned to 75 percent of its original strength and electrical conductivity. After 30 minutes the material was restored to 100 percent. They repeated the process 50 times, each time it returned to normal. "Even human skin takes days to heal. So I think this is quite cool," said Benjamin Chee-Keong Tee, first author of the paper.
Transhumanism takes a multidisciplinary approach in analyzing the dynamic interplay between humanity and the acceleration of technology. In this sphere, much of our focus is on the development and ethical use of biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial general intelligence. Our theoretical interests focus on posthuman topics of the singularity, extinction risk, and mind uploading. Many of these ideas are contemplated in books and other publications produced at Humanity+ Press.
Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by Tallone
An F&S& bump from me too. ...I suspect we're well on the way to "transhumanism" - at least for the very, very filthy rich and ultra- uber wealthy.
reply to post by sicksonezer0
Im wondering how well tolerated this engineered skin is when attached to the human body, then again, how it is attached? sewn?
Originally posted by Tallone
Scientists have come up with a plastic polymer skin that mimics at least two of the properties of our own real skin. It feels, and it can repair itself. Another one right out of the realm of SF has come to fruition. Science is amazing.
it got to have some side effects, would you like to mention those ? waitingedit on 18-11-2012 by CoolNamesWereTaken because: spelling mistake