So much for Ballmer's vision
of a paperless world -- that is, if the mighty nanofiber paper has anything to do with it. This new paper is made out of the same cellulose your regulation legal pad, but scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden were able to get the fiber so small and defect-free in this version -- about 1,000 times smaller -- that it's more than seven times as strong. By breaking down wood pulp with enzymes and beating it mechanically and then
treating the tiny fibers with carboxymethanol, they were able to get the new paper to a tensile strength of 214 megapascals (MPa) compared with the normal 30 MPa. So, why should you care? It's entirely possible that this stuff could replace plastic bags at stores without all the petroleum waste.