Airport security is an essential, if unglamorous, part of air travel. We expect to arrive at our destination without incident, yet we resent it when we get mired in a long security line for the X-ray machine.

    That may all change soon, thanks to Marcos Dantus, a professor of chemistry, and his research team at Michigan State University.

    Deep within the bowels of the MSU’s chemistry department, Dantus toils on a laser that could both streamline and embolden airport security. His laser, which he devised with Marshall Bremer, a Ph.D. candidate at MSU, can detect combustible material smaller than a 70 mg grain of sugar -- 1/1000th smaller than a grain of sugar, actually.

    “What’s really revolutionary about this laser is that with an average power of a laser pointer we are able to detect explosives with much greater sensitivity than anyone has been able to do,” said Dantus, after showing off the effectiveness of the laser in his lab.

    During a trial run, Dantus pinned several items you

  • “Terminator” Plastic Polymer Can Heal Itself

    What if any plastic object you owned could heal itself if cracked or broken into two parts? No more emergency tire changes or water pipe fiascos; those pesky scenarios would resolve themselves.

    That day may not be too far off now that scientists have created a plastic polymer that can do just that. Created by a research team lead by Ibon Odriozola at the CIDETEC Center for Electrochemical Technologies in San Sebastian, Spain, this plastic polymer shares the same regenerative traits as human skin.

    When cut in half, the plastic will naturally congeal after two hours at room temperature without an outside catalyst. The team even nicknamed the plastic “Terminator” after the T-1000 that heals itself in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

    Watch the video to see for yourself. After slicing the plastic, Odriozola placed the parts together and left the room. Within two hours, the plastic had gelled together; no amount of pulling could tear it in half again.

    In a Skype interview with ABC News,

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  • Sprayable Energy? Does it Work?

    Just when you thought drinking coffee or an energy drink was the easiest way to get a caffeine jolt, two young entrepreneurs disrupted that notion with a spray bottle.

    Sprayable Energy, a liquid caffeine product that you spray onto your skin like perfume, made a buzz when it raised more than $168,000 on the crowd fundraising site Indiegogo, indicating a strong demand for an odorless caffeine dispensary that doesn’t stain your teeth.

    Its creators, Deven Soni, 33, and Ben Yu, 21, say Sprayable Energy is also a smoother conduit for caffeine than coffee.

    “The experience that users are expected to feel is not the ‘jittery-ness’ and ‘over-alertness’ that people get used to with coffee or energy drinks,” said Soni, who was a venture capitalist before creating this product with Yu, a Harvard undergraduate.

    Each bottle contains enough liquid for 160 sprays, and each pump of Sprayable Energy is equal to a quarter cup of coffee. Soni and Yu insist that Sprayable Energy is safe, although you

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