A team of astute MIT researchers have developed a sophisticated new material that could help control, contain and lessen the environmental impact of future oil spills. The creation is a mat of nanowires that actually looks a lot like paper, but unlike the material your paycheck gets printed on, this stuff can "selectively absorb hydrophobic liquids (oil-like liquids) from water." We're talking about a membrane that can "absorb up to 20 times its weight in oil, and can be recycled many times for future use." Outside of this, it could also be used in water filtration processes and for designing the next great wetsuit. Okay, so we're making that last one up, but don't dare say it's beyond the realm of possibility.

[Via NewScientist]

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MIT fabricates nanowire mats to selectively absorb oil