Can you imagine 3-D printed ovaries that can produce offspring? Researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering have made this possible by replacing a female mouse’s ovary with a bioprosthetic ovary. Read more about their research here. 

Can a printer print out human skin? A team of researchers belonging to the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in collaboration with the firm BioDan Group have designed a prototype for a 3D printer that would be able to print out human skin that can be used for cosmetic, chemical, or pharmacological purposes. Read more about their research here.

A team of researchers at The University of Manchester led by Professor David Leigh in Manchester's School of Chemistry have been successful in producing the most complex regular woven molecule. Read more about their research here.    

A collaborative effort by Professor Neil Thomas from the School of Chemistry and Dr. Sara Goodacre from the School of Life Sciences and their teams has led to the development of antibiotic synthetic spider silk. The two teams worked for five years to produce functionalized spider silk synthesized by E.coli bacteria that can be used for a wide range of applications such as wound healing, drug delivery, etc. Read more about their research here.

Professor Hod Lipso, a roboticist at Columbia Engineering who works in the areas of artificial intelligence and digital manufacturing, has along with his students developed a prototype of a 3D food printer. This machine, which resembles a coffee machine, is able to generate edible items such as pastes, gels, powders, and liquid ingredients. Read more about Professor Lipso's invention here.

The carbon dating processes require an accelerator mass spectrometer that can measure the amount of carbon-14, or radiocarbon, present in bones, wood, fabrics or anything of biological origin. However, the process can take up to several weeks as there are only about 100 facilities in the world that have spectrometers. Researchers from Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO) in Italy have devised a new approach called saturated-absorption cavity ring-down (SCAR) that can cut down on the time and expense it takes to carbon date samples. Read more about their research here.

Researchers at Stanford University have discovered a new method of creating plastic using carbon dioxide and inedible biomass. According to Matthew Kanan, an assistant professor of chemistry at Stanford, manufacturing PET “generates more than four tons of CO2 for every ton of PET that's produced.” Therefore, Kanan and his team developed a green alternative to plastic called polyethylene furandicarboxylate (PEF), which is a product of ethylene glycol and a compound called 2-5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Read more about their research here.

Why do snowy winters seem peaceful? According to David Herrin, an associate professor in the UK College of Engineering who studies acoustics, snow is capable of absorbing sound just like any commercial sound absorbing materials. The porosity of snow and its low density enables it to soak noise. Read more about this here.

Diamond is considered to be the hardest material known to man. However, a newly discovered substance named Q-carbon has claimed the title of being the hardest material formed from carbon. A team of researchers at North Carolina State University, headed by Jagdish Narayan, focused a very short pulse of laser light onto carbon for 200 nanoseconds and then cooled it down, a process that is called quenching. This yielded minuscule synthetic diamond “seeds” of Q-carbon from which the researchers were able to make gems. Read more about their research here.

One of the most conventional ways of creating fusion energy is using high-power lasers to heat material. However, this process is slow because the energy from the laser targets and heats up the electrons, which in turn heat up the ions. Now theoretical physicists from Imperial College London have developed a method by which certain metals can be heated to ten million degrees, which is hotter than the Sun’s core, in less than a million millionth of a second. Read more about their research here.