Rubber puts a spring in your step and all, but to be honest, it wears out faster than an up-and-coming basketball player appearing on Sports Illustrated's cover. We may soon have an alternative, thanks to the guys at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.
Their discovery? A new carbon nanotube-based material that can bend, squish and deform just like processed tree sap, but returns to its regular shape no matter the physical punishment. This viscoelastic super-rubber can even withstand temperatures hot enough to melt aluminum. On top of all that, it's electroconductive too. So while it won't make a good insulator, it can make integrating electronics into apparel a lot easier.
[source: Discovery News]