Two fun paragraphs:
Researchers at the University of Maryland were able pull away color and chemicals from a block of wood to leave it impressively see-through. The result is a material that is both stronger and more insulating than glass, with better biodegradability than plastic. “We were very surprised by how transparent it could go,” said Liangbing Hu, who wrote about the project in Advanced Materials.
Hu’s team isn’t the only group that’s developed a technique for transparent wood―Swedish researchers have also been able to clear out that pesky visible pulp, replacing it with a transparent polymer. The treatment techniques appear pretty similar: it’s a two-stage process.
The human species never ceases to amaze me.
The trees, of course, are appalled.
Image note: A block of wood before, left, and after treatment to become transparent. (Photo: Liangbing Hu via New York Times)
Smith, Mat. “Scientists made see-through wood that’s stronger than glass”. Engadget. 16 May 2016.