In a surprising breakthrough for the world of materials science, researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles we've ever seen. And they did it with simple fishing line. These freakishly strong and cheap muscles could revolutionize robotics, and perhaps one day our own bodies.
Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, has spent much of his career trying to build artificial muscles out expensive, cutting-edge materials like carbon nanotubes. But Baughman's team recently discovered that elegant solutions can come in cheap and easy packages: the answers to many of their research questions could be bought for $5 at a local tackle shop. Sometimes, scientific discoveries are just a matter of rethinking how we use something that's part of our everyday lives.