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Matter & Energy

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illustration of a metamaterial

SO META  A new metamaterial, illustrated, uses precise vibrations to allow underwater sound to be transmitted through it. (Blue and red show vibrations in opposite directions.)

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.

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