Anyone who has poked at sea cucumbers knows that they are really squishy when undisturbed, but tighten up like a wee warty sausage if you pick them up. Apparently researchers at Case Western have spent quality time in tidepools, because they are building a new polymer based on sea cucumber skin. The polymer will be rigid when dry and soft when soaked in water. The researchers envision applications like brain electrodes and protective clothing. I, however, hope they will take the imitation of sea cucumbers one step farther, and make a self-defense material that will hurk up a slimy mass of intestines on command.
Via Boing Boing