From Viral Electric Car Batteries to Creating More Durable Everyday Materials

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If researcher Angela Belcher has her way, electric cars of the future will be
equipped with lightweight, inexpensive batteries that can store enough electricity
to make driving such vehicles even more practical. Also on her laboratory "to
do" list: developing tougher electronic material so that you'll never lose your
computer again to an errant glass of water spilled on your keyboard.

Skillfully combining the disciplines of materials science, engineering and
bioengineering, Angela is focused on developing tougher and more effective
materials and devices for clean energy, electronics, the environment and
medicine. What's even more interesting are the research methods she uses in
developing such materials. These range from actually "growing" the materials
from genetically-modified microscopic organisms (such as harmless bacterial
viruses) to creating more highly durable material compounds based on studying
how abalone shellfish manufacture their tough, water-sealed outer covering.

Angela is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological
Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she and
her closely-knit research team use nanotechnology (a growing area of science
that focuses on manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level) to
produce their advanced materials.

Says Angela: " We like to work on problems that are very hard--but not
impossible."

Read more about her here.

What types of scientific problems in today society do you think material science can influence?

Find a great short interview with Angela here:

Angela Belcher: Such Great Challenges from imagine it project on Vimeo.

Take a look at a bit of a longer lecture here:

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quote "Says Angela: " We like to work on problems that are very hard--but not
impossible." I like her attitude, and again it would be nice to have my drink while working on the computer and not have to worry about spilling it on the key board.

I think that inventing tougher electronic material would be a great invention because a lot of accidents happen and people do spill on their computers. I think that this would be a very practical invention and would be profitable because people would want to invest in it. I find it fascinating that someone can make their own materials from bacteria and such substances. I like that Angela says that she enjoys working on things that are hard to solve but not impossible. That is very inspirational. I hope you succeed and I will be looking for your product.

quote "Says Angela: " We like to work on problems that are very hard--but not
impossible." I like her attitude, and again it would be nice to have my drink while working on the computer and not have to worry about spilling it on the key board

electric car batteries cannot last forever as they will need to give way some day or another. What do you do with spent electric car batteries?