Personally, I won’t believe it till I hear some guy on cable screaming about it at the top of his lungs. But how about a nanowire-mesh “paper towel” that can clean up 20 times its weight in oil, and recycle the gunk for future use? It might filter and purify water, too.
The new material appears to be completely impervious to water. “Our material can be left in water a month or two, and when you take it out it’s still dry,” [MIT materials scientist Francesco] Stellacci said. “But at the same time, if that water contains some hydrophobic contaminants, they will get absorbed.”