Take a little Silly Putty, add an unusual form of carbon and what do you get? Possibly the key for new heart monitors and other medical devices.
Irish physicist Jonathan Coleman of Trinity College Dublin listened when a student suggesting mixing Silly Putty with graphene, a two-dimensional material that's an atom thick and a remarkable electricity conductor.
The children's toy was developed by accident during World War II by an engineer looking for a cheap substitute for synthetic rubber. Kids love playing with it, since you can bounce, stretch and mold it.