Boffins to make liquid with holes

Dr Joe Vyle and Dr Stuart James and their team at Belfast Queen’s university are on a mission to create the first liquid with holes.

“This has the potential to change the way that chemical plants operate or even improve dialysis treatments,” said James. “Solids which have microscopic holes (…) are used in everything from washing powders to large-scale chemical plants. This is because they can mop up or release other substances.”

However, he said, one of the problems was that they worked quite slowly as many of the holes were buried deep inside the solid. “With a porous liquid it would flow because the holes would be continually moving around, allowing it to mop up or release other substances incredibly quickly.”

A second project will focus on replacing silicon chips with the use of RNA, a biological compound similar to DNA.

The boffins hope to use the material to store information. “Instead of using silicon chips to do computations, as today’s computers do, we will try and see if we can do the same thing by using a biological material called RNA,” Dr Vyle explained.

Via BBC News.