Galleries of Occasionally Reproducible Results
This metallic nanowire was physically damaged in an experiment. Surprisingly, when I examined it in an electron microscope it folded and unfolded in response to the electron beam.
Occasionally, we create situations where lipids can just as easily form any number of shapes - spheres, tubes, pearl necklaces, etc... It’s this versatile self-assembly that makes lipids such interesting (and useful) bio-materials (double-click to start).
When hydrated, a stack of amphiphiles will dramatically reorganize with great energy. Here we see extremely long tubules growing out of such a stack, made of synthetic lipids. A remarkable aspect of this video is how organic, nearly "alive" it looks. Rest assured, however, that what you are seeing is purely a material process. While lipids are biological materials (e.g., they form part of our cell membrane) there isn't even anything nearly as complicated as a protein (much less anything living, like a cell!) in the petri dish.