Tougher than Kevlar
Body armor. Photo: Discovery News
Scientific breakthroughs often come from unlikely sources. A research study of brain plaque found in Alzeimer's patients, for example, inspired the discovery of the hardest synthesized material ever, thus far.
Scientists at Tel Aviv University, who studied the beta-amyloid proteins formed by dozens of amino acids in Alzeimer's-afflicted patients, have been able to simulate the proteins' microstructure in layers of super-strong nanospheres. The new material is transparent, and has the hardest organic nanostructure of any known substance—even greater than Kevlar.
Project scientist Ehud Gazit alluded to the future potential of printing transparent body armor of unprecedented strength, adding that the current focus is on "more straightforward uses: to improve the mechanical properties of composite structures, such as ceramics and bulletproof glass."