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This abalone shell is a natural form of nacre—also known as mother-of-pearl—an exceptionally tough material found in shells and pearls. Rochester biologists have developed an innovative method for creating nacre in the lab—and maybe on the moon. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Researchers create artificial mother-of-pearl using bacteria

One natural substance scientists have looked to in creating synthetic materials is nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl. An exceptionally tough, stiff material produced by...
Erupting plasma loops are seen above the surface of the sun. Plasma is the most abundant form of matter in the universe, and Rochester scientists are finding new ways to observe and create plasmas. (NASA/SDO photo)

When liquid metal turns to plasma, the physics get weird

For the first time, analysts at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) have figured out how to transform a liquid metal...