Japanese Scientists Create Elastic Water

Elastic WaterKevin Parrish writes on tom’s guide:

Elastic Water could eventually replace plastic, or be used in an environmentally-safe plastic.

Bernama, a part of the Malaysian National News Agency, reports that Japanese scientists have created “elastic water.” Developed at the Tokyo University, the new material consists mostly of water — 95-percent — with an added two grams of clay and organic material. The resulting substance resembles jelly, but is extremely elastic and transparent.

The invention was originally revealed last week in the latest issue of the Nature scientific magazine. According to the article, the new material is quite safe for the environment and humans, and may be a “long-term” tool in medical technology, possibly to help wounded or surgically cut tissue to remain closed.

Read More: tom’s guide

74 Comments on "Japanese Scientists Create Elastic Water"

  1. tonyviner | Jan 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm |

    Is it too late, though?

  2. Phil E. Drifter | Jan 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm |

    Great but all the plastic manufacturers are still gonna keep pumping out plastics from dirty crude oil, they won't change their habits unless this 'plastics from water' is cheaper than a drum of oil. I stumbled across a page earlier too, lemme get it…

    Well I can't find it but it was a big gif that had a progression chart on it with statistics, Americans drink x bottled water, something like 6.some billion year in sales, containing water which is less regulated than tap water across the country, only one in 5 bottles gets recycled, there's a mountain of plastic floating out in the pacific ocean too… one of the pages i can recall is one about how plastic is killing wildlife: http://agonist.org/nat_wilson_turner/20091023/r

    • Great, so you feel that because some people are greedy that other won't step up and do something. It is cheaper to make lead based paint than acrylic. There is no lead based paint being made (in the US and most developed countries) because people saw the harm that it was creating. I say go for it guys if it takes off great if it does not then be satisfied that your cause was noble.

      • The key there is that the government REGULATED lead in paint.

        The way things are now, the corporations just buy themselves a few Senators, and that combined with the insane rightwing meme that “the free market fixes everything” (even though it's wicked clear it's screwing up everything) and you never get real regulation with teeth in it any more.

        And thanks to the pompous douchebags on the Supreme Court, that whole problem just got way worse.

  3. What really matter to manufacturers is how much it costs (for equipment and production). If it's cheap, they'll surely switch technology and be praised as environment lover. If not, they simple don't know about their existence.

  4. igotnothing | Jan 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm |

    what about the water shortages all around the world?

    • The term “water shortage” applies only to localized situations. There is no world wide water shortage. There are areas that lack clean water but this product is not going to deprive them of more.

    • There is a fresh water shortage around the world. There is plenty of salt water. Granted, the ionic properties of salt may cause problems with the organic material and clay bonding, but you're still still a dumb@$$ for asking a question like that! Water is more available than the materials used make today's plastics btw. Why don't you focus your green efforts into stopping all of the terrible pollution that comes out of the “nukeular” power plants buddy!

      • Terrible pollution comes out of nuclear power plants? Enlighten me. Or, rather, enlighten yourself.

        The pollution that comes from nuclear plants is contained and locked up in some of the most crash proof containers human have ever made (they easily survive train crashes – find these crash tests on youtube, they're fascinating to watch). The white smoke you see coming out of plants is steam (steam = non-polluting water). We (in the US) don't let any pollutants wild into the environment from nuclear plants.

        Coal plants, on the other hand (the chief competition against nuclear power) require coal which is very dangerous to mine (find coal miners and you'll find death and WAY more cancer problems than you'll find from your go-to topic, Three Mile Island) and creates many pollutants we do let into the wild when we burn it. Coal and Oil industries would like you to think nuclear power is harmful because it's their competition. It's funny to consider that anti-nuclear protesters are on the same side as big oil/fossil fuels in this argument. Please think about that.

        I'll stop you from crying about “Chernobyl” before you even start. Russia couldn't organize themselves to do basic things like feed themselves in the '80s, let alone properly run a power plant. We're not Russia in the '80s. The US and other nuclear-powered countries' records are very clean, and have run many plants for many years.

        I'd like fusion, as would everyone else, but we're perpetually 30 years away from fusion plants being a reality. In the mean time, let's get more safe & clean nuclear power going. Wind & solar options are, sadly ( as I really like the concept), expensive and unreliable – both require too much land (land is expensive), and both require constant wind/sun to work.

        Every once in a while someone comes up with a great concept, like “nantennas” (again, go read about it – neat stuff) to convert heat into electricity, and vice-versa. Thrilled to death — but it's nothing until it's here.

        I happen to believe nuclear is the best choice today. Keeping new plants from being built means we're running 30+ year old nuclear plants (successfully, I would point out), which we could stand to improve with 30+ years of advancements in engineering.

        • Would you like nuclear waste cemetery in your backyard? Would you live close to a nuclear plant? Because there are always emissions of radioactive particles round there. There have been a few leaks at the closest to my area nuclear station, and it's not in Russia, but in Western world.

          • Nuclear waste in my backyard isn't being considered by anyone. We have a lot of land, as far as land usage goes, nuclear waste is far less of a concern than our landfills, which are much closer to my back yard (and yours, I'd bet). There are several sites where nuclear waste is stored, usually deep in rocks, far away from populations (and far away my back yard).

            Here's another twist on this topic, and how we 'think wrong' about clean power. We like electric power, right? The problem with storing our own electric power (from sun and wind) is batteries. Do you properly dispose of even your AA batteries? If so, good job. Can you count on your neighbor to dispose of his batteries? Most people do not recycle batteries. Imagine a world where all our houses and cars run on many large (and expensive) deep-cycle batteries, being switched out every 10-20 years. This causes much more of a waste problem (as batteries are very explosive, corrosive things). I contend that batteries are more of a waste problem than the waste we worry about with nuclear power, as battery chemicals DO end up in local landfills and local drinking supplies, whereas nuclear waste does not.

            To answer your other question, I would rather live near a nuclear plant than a coal plant, which is the only alternative at the moment.

            “There are always emissions of radioactive particles around there.” There are? Not that I agree with what you're meaning, since there's nothing to check, but it's a true statement. See, emissions of radioactive particles come out of hospitals and the sun, too – would you wager they don't come out of coal plants? If you want random heresay, I've listened to claims that radioactivity out of coal plants is HIGHER than out of nuclear plants – google that if you like, though I'm not gonna get into this part of the discussion because it's not worth it. Long story short, coal is very messy and hard to deny that. We have to quibble over miscellaneous trivia and not-well understood science (by the layperson) and cut through years of propaganda and fear to talk about how actually clean/dirty nuclear plants are. We have to hear things like “not in my backyard”. Why rhetoric? It's time for another look at nuclear, as it should be more than obvious that fossil fuel plants spew out toxins and carbon monoxide, which mother earth doesn't like. Though, if you're also implying that since there's scary particles from current nuclear plants, that we should build new ones with modern technology to reduce said scary particles, then I would agree whole-heartedly as it would be worth it for the much cleaner power.

          • well, both your arguments and very rich lexic are interesting, it seems that you like a lot nueclear power plants, and you said that other kinds of energy are very expensive, but what i think of using energy is that the better way to have it, is when there are not harmful wastes getting it. In my country we don't have such things as powerplants, may be you have like a lot of technology to have those chemical wastes under control, but the thing is that nuclear power plants, such as coal plants, and other industries are still producing chemical wastes, the goal is NOT TO PRODUCE ANY KIND OF WASTES!!
            yes, solar power, and also eolic power are very expensive, but those are the only ones that are not producing any waste, such as geothermal energy, that you have also stated before!! in this case, there are not such things as industries profits, as there are in nuclear power plants as in oil and coal plants, in this case, what you have to do is be more concient on the planet you are life developes, and all what gives to you, and mey be to your children also, and start thinking in may be more expensive, but more accesible kinds of energy, in this case, geothermal energy!!!
            my neighborhood (i live in Ecuador, a country not as rich as yours in latin america) runs with geothermal energy, each block of houses has has energy by one of this geothermal “things”, i am not to much of a scientist, but the thing is that it has a tube that goes really deep in the ground and take all the heat under our houses and gives as clean and pure energy, without wastes!!! it was not too expensive, and last year we finally finish paying the installation of this devices, there are people that come check it and give maintenance to this things
            one thing is clear man, you are also a victim of propaganda and all of those things, may be your energy is cheap, but when you start thinking on what really has expnsive prices, such as your health and environmental dsitruction, you know that cheap things are expensive in long term
            NUCLEAR PLANTS SUCK!!!!!
            get a job, work hard, invest your money in something cleaner and has nothing to do in making other people richer by using propaganda such as you said!!!

          • Hi Chant. I like what you said.

            I wish I could capture the essence of my argument for power in such a way to tell you that I really really (really) want cheap and clean power.

            “the goal is NOT TO PRODUCE ANY KIND OF WASTES!!” — I totally agree with this.

            “NUCLEAR PLANTS SUCK!!!!!” — If I must agree that nuclear plants suck, then I would do so by saying “everything else that can provide as much power sucks worse, or is unavailable with our current understanding of science and manufacturing — the promised technologies continue to elude us. So please, Science, give us more options – but in the mean time, don't do something worse than nuclear, to our planet – which we clearly are.”

            Harvesting geothermal energy is fantastic in the places that it's possible. I'm glad to hear you're in such a place. My arguments are not wrong because you have access to geothermal power. If I thought for a moment that it was practical to power all of civilization with the same method, I'd be yelling for it loudly. Iceland is another country which benefits greatly from geothermal energy, and I'm in envy of that. Sadly, over my region, looking downwards will show nothing but cold water and rock.

            Another example, if I thought it would be economical to harvest tidal energy with tidal turbines I'd be saying that. Another great concept, but yet another thing that won't get us what we need. There are so many of these concepts which aren't even on the table, options-wise.

            The fact is that people in most of the world are not choosing between nuclear and geothermal. They're choosing between nuclear and fossil fuels. Many companies offset as much as they can afford to with wind/solar/other – the government might pay to help them afford it and at the same time demand that they do it – but it's clear that it these alternative options are not a viable solution for all of our power requirements.

            Between fossil fuels and nuclear, there should be no doubt which one is cleaner, and why I choose what I do between them. One of these has all of the waste contained, and the other has much of the waste not contained. One puts that which would harm us somewhere where it won't harm us, and the other puts that which would harm us directly into the air we breathe. Nuclear plants make bad stuff which we can take care of, and fossil fuel plants make bad stuff which we cannot and do not take care of. The environment in Ecuador is harmed by coal/gas plants in the United States, but the environment in Ecuador is not harmed by nuclear plants in the United States.

            I'm not sure I understand the last comments. I'm educated (engineer) and employed, and I tinker with building things such as solar panels and wind turbines (which I recognize I lose money by doing) — these facts help me make decisions, and why I hold strange and unpopular views like “dead batteries are more of a problem for us than nuclear waste.”



          • Oh my god, I love you. _O_

          • Excellent response to a wild-eyed rant that was barely deserving of one. One additional point: France is, and has been for years, recycling the spent fuel rods from their numerous nuclear plants. A minute amount of nuclear waste is left over…and the French goverment stores it all in a single room in The Hague.

  5. just a note. they already have a plastic like substance made from cellulose.

  6. Is it edible?

  7. One step closer to transparent aluminum.

  8. What a cool idea!

  9. That looks oddly tasty.

  10. Urine is also 95% water. You wouldn't call that water either would you?

  11. Get some better sources. It took me all of 5 minutes to find this, its from a weekly journal, so its way more credible than the blog after blog that are cited by this and many others like it. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7279

    This article is actually a well written and explains the science behind the technology. Sorry if i come off a bit harsh, but its an easy thing to do, and you shouldn't write an article if you don't research it a bit.

    • If the author had, they may have noticed that the hydrogel in question is far more interesting than simply being plastic like and made mostly from water (hydorgels have been around for a while and are hardly anything new) but this one is spontaneously self repairing (I assume on a micro rather than macro level.. I've only read the brief overview which took all of 15 seconds…) as well as fully shape persistent and of substantial durability (my understanding is that early hydrogels were largely brittle)

      While they are somewhat old news by this point, aerogels are also incredibly fascinating, and anyone who thought this interesting should check them out.

  12. Its an amazing technology, don't get me wrong, it could change the world, but this is not a well written article, sorry.

  13. fascinating! Can it be reverted back to water?

  14. … and rhubarb is growing water and a jellyfish is swimming water? Containing 95% water does not water make.

  15. Skin for sex robots. The Japanese never share their true motive…

  16. I think this is a wonderful idea!!! Plastic is too much of a problem around the world. It's so much of a problem that many countries have actually banned using plastic bags. If you guys like this, you should also check this out.
    It's pretty interesting.

  17. That seems pretty cool. What a concept.

  18. So just a little of the substance turns a bunch of water into jelly?

    ice-nine anyone?

  19. Can it be made using seawater? Given the limited supplies of drinkable water and the enormous demand on petroleum products it would be absolutely ideal if it could be made from salinated water.

    • It is possible to desalinize water, although I fear that too much desalinization in the ocean would lead to too much salt in the water, killing fish and drastically altering currents and throwing the entire oceanic ecosystem into a downward spiral, eventually spreading to humans, perpetuating the downfall of civilization and possibly life as we know it. Of course that's just an uneducated guess. I'm sure it would be fine. Besides, it would take quite a long time to do that, and I'm sure a better technology would arise by then.

      • Timeless One | Nov 5, 2014 at 12:33 am |

        Actually increasing the salinization of the worlds oceans could combat the desalinization caused by the melting ice caps.

  20. jeffrey6688 | Jan 27, 2010 at 11:56 pm |

    it's great

  21. SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. This is a bad idea waiting to happen.
    “Lets start depleting the worlds water supply, then we'll save the petroleum!”
    “Yes, the water will never run out, because it's always been here!”
    “Wow! We are so smart!”
    “I'll drink to that!”
    Dumb Dumb DUMB DUMB DUMB

    • Timeless One | Nov 5, 2014 at 12:37 am |

      The world has plenty of water, and we’re not going to use it all up with this kind of thing. Also it’s only a matter of time before wee have to leave this planet, it’s not unthinkable that we should probably start thinking of way to take some useful resources with us to the next planet we go to so we don’t have to completely start all over again.

  23. This is a really interesting material. I can see it having a lot of uses in the future. http://www.factopo.com/index/randomredirect.php

  24. I crapped myself

  25. Cool Stuff! Elastic Water, makes good sense…

  26. treymcpants | Jan 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    i'm glad america didn't make it… it'd be defective or something. good job japan

  27. Leave it to the Japanese. They think of everything.

  28. I hope it's not another “cold fusion” hoax or won't turn out to be even worse than plastic.

  29. Archie1954 | Jan 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm |

    Does it have insulating potential? Talk about a fireproof building material.

  30. tanerokutan | Jan 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm |

    I prefer natural. but it's very interesting.

  31. As Senav. | Jan 31, 2010 at 12:00 am |

    No fucking way! That's intense!

  32. Great concept! Just wondering…..can it be recycled?

  33. Silvernyo | Feb 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm |

    Elastic “water”. Clever.

  34. we need elastic money!!!!

  35. Well this looks good. If we stop burning oil and then come up with a crude plastic substitute maybe the high grade stuff can drive critical industries like medical health for a few centuries.
    I say congratulations Japan

  36. Rainweary | Feb 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm |

    It's different from Jello how?

  37. All I want to know is if I drop it does the five second rule still apply?

  38. wondyfrawhailu | Feb 5, 2010 at 12:58 am |

    wow it nice, really I'm surprise .I think it's good new today,since environmental polis ion is the burning of now

  39. What will they think of next

  40. lavanooche | Feb 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm |

    This is amazing! Technology is the fly-wheel of the basic; combining ideas and materials to become environmentally sound. Awesome!

  41. Hmm, can you eat it and be hydrated? xD

  42. This is wonderful Idea !

  43. it's very nice.

  44. I know this is cool, and my inner geek loves it. But despite the surgery stuff, why? What else could it be used for'

  45. whiteboard | Feb 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |

    can we eat that?

  46. Anonymous | Feb 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm |

    How is it eco-friendly? What kind of testing has been done?

  47. thegogreenblog | Feb 24, 2010 at 10:26 am |

    How is it eco-friendly? What kind of testing has been done?

Comments are closed.