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Chemistry

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E. coli colony

TANGLY TENDRILS  This colony of E. coli bacteria gets its wrinkly look thanks to tendrils of cellulose that it uses to build a supertight, sticky web. A new view of microbes’ cellulose shows how it’s different from the kind found in plants.

illustration of 2-D honeycomb

ULTRATHIN FILMS  Computer simulations reveal the properties of a little-studied group of synthetic materials: 2-D arrays of metal atoms arranged in honeycombs (illustrated), triangles or squares.

hydrogel disks

IT’S ELECTRIC  A new type of energy source made with hydrogel disks (shown) works a lot like the power-producing organs inside electric eels.

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