Shatter, Batter, Wax: how cannabis extracts come to be

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Elevated by its potency and portability, formerly-niche cannabis oil is going wide.

SOME TIME AROUND the mid-aughts, folks in the weed industry began to notice a shift in the market. Pot smokers were smoking less, and dabbing more—heating the plant’s oily extracts to inhale high concentrations of hallmark marijuana molecules like THC. Extracts, which go by names including shatter, batter, wax, dabs, and honey, weren’t just stronger than their plant-based starting materials. They were also more convenient to consume and easier to use discreetly. Elevated by its potency and portability, formerly-niche cannabis oil was going wide.

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A Shatterproof Ceramic That Could Be Used To Make Lightweight Vehicles

A Shatterproof Ceramic That Could Be Used To Make Lightweight Vehicles 

 A tough ceramic’s structure mimics that of abalone shells.

Ceramics are lightweight and hard, but you can’t make jet engines out of them because they’d shatter like dinner plates. So, materials scientists have been trying to mimic natural materials that combine strength (a measure of resistance to deformation) with toughness (a measure of resistance to fracture). In particular, they’ve looked to the porous but resilient material called nacre that lines abalone shells. Now researchers have developed a method for manufacturing nacre-like materials in the lab. These new materials have mechanical properties similar to metal alloys and are the toughest ceramics ever made. The new method could lead the way to ceramic structural materials for energy-efficient buildings and lightweight but resilient automobile frames.

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