Have you got anything to become one of the superheroes? For most of us, the answer is ‘no’, but that hasn’t stopped scientists from trying to recreate the superpowers artificially. And you might be surprised how successfully they found out many things.
- Wall climbing
Gecko lizards are so good at wall climbing that they can hang upside down from a glass surface. The secret is in the millions of tiny hairs which are on their skin. Scientists at Manchester University are developing a material made with similar hairs that would enable a person to walk along a ceiling or up a wall.
Just as superheroes Nightcrawler can teleport, Australian scientists discovered how to teleport matter for real. The researchers succeeded in transmitting information about small particles across space. Now they can use this information to reassemble copies of original particles. It is unlikely that this method could be used for larger objects, to become a superhero for example.
Superman can regenerate tissue instantly. Doctors at one children’s hospital in Boston pioneered a similar way of helping terminally ill patients to re-grow new healthy organs. The procedure could eventually be used to grow organs for transplants.
No matter how many steroids you take, you will not be able to achieve the strength of the Incredible Hulk. Anyway, there is the possibility that genetics could help people who want to become strong. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University created Mighty Mouse – the genetically modified mouse. “They are normal in every respect, except their muscles are two to three times larger than normal,’ says molecular biologist Se Jin-Lee. So, it will also help scientists to better understand muscle-wasting diseases.
- Force field
Superman’s hideaway, the Fortress of Solitude, is protected by a force field. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory run by the UK Ministry of Defence developed a similar force field to protect tanks from grenades. It’s a nice help for you to become a superhero!
The US army developed a device for the New York police which acts like Spider-Man’s web shooter. The nets are designed to restrain people without causing any serious injury and are shot from a type of gun. The victim caught in the net had no chance to escape, as the nets come in three varieties: a regular net, one that can give an electric shock, and one that becomes sticky on contact with air.
- X-ray vision
Everyone, who wants to become a superhero, would love to have Superman’s ability to see through walls. This works just like an X-ray but without the harmful effects. While some people are against the general use of X-rays because they are dangerous, and repeated exposure to them is bad for our health, researchers are developing terahertz imaging for defense and medical purposes.
The cool superheroes must fly Well, researchers are looking into the possibility of using spinning discs to cheat gravity. The original research was carried out by a Russian working in Finland in 1996, but unfortunately, no other researchers have managed to reproduce his results. It is doubtful that we will be able to achieve this soon in the future.