Mixing and matching two seemingly distinct components has led to some of humanity’s greatest inventions. Reinforcing concrete with steel made skyscrapers possible. Stitching together the atoms of various substances has led to composite materials, like carbon fiber and fiberglass, that are used in our phones, cars, and homes.

Now researchers at the University of Chicago have figured out a way to drastically improve the way engineers go about creating these compound materials. In a paper published in the journal Science, Saien Xie and his colleagues were able to seamlessly merge the atoms of two materials together, as if they were just one structure. This is a feat that even the scientists involved were astonished they were able to achieve.

“It is surprising that different atomically-thin crystals can be seamlessly sewed together, atom by atom, without leaving holes at the interface,” Xie tells Inverse. “This is possible because we developed a technique that allows different atomic crystals to grow under the same constant environment with the same high quality.”

This technique allowed for the creation of a flexible and ultra-thin material that electricity can easily pass through. This atom-thick conductive material could be used to make exceptionally light electronic devices, like phones or TV screens. These types of products will become commercially available in less than five years according to Xie.

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A close-up of a small region of the first several top layers of a 3D-printed sheet of hyperelastic bone.

Scientists could also make use of these fabrics to track the change in objects and even microscopic life.

“We are making an ultra-thin, light, and flexible [strain-sensing fabric] which can emit light,” said Xie. “The idea is that you can put these fabrics on any object to monitor its mechanical status by looking at the color of light emitted from the fabrics. In fact, these atomic fabrics are so thin that you can potentially put them on a cell and monitor how [it] expands or shrinks.”

These types of applications weren’t possible before because other techniques used to fuse materials at an atomic level would always leave tiny holes in the final produce, almost like a knitted sweater. Xie’s team results are the most perfectly aligned single-layer materials ever made.

With this technique under their belts, engineers can get wildly creative with embedding electronics on almost any surface. This leaves the door open to sleek touch screens on clothing or even phones as thin as a sheet of paper.

Apple fans have long drooled over the impending AirPods redesign for months now. It was at the center of speculation surrounding the company’s iPhone and October product announcements. Both events came and went without them, dashing hopes that the AirPods 2 might drop in 2018. Now, a new report from a trusted analyst suggests users will need to wait even longer than they thought to see the fated AirPods overhaul come to fruition.

On Monday, scientists revealed the first images of a human inside the world’s newest total body scanner, called EXPLORER. The name is fitting because this scanner really leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, tracking the way drugs and disease progress through every nook and cranny in the body.

Designed by biomedical engineering professor Simon Cherry, Ph.D., and biophysicist Ramsey Badawi, Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, this scanner produces images that look like a hybrid between a PET scan (which is often used to find tumors) and an X-ray, all in ghostly black and white. But what’s interesting about EXPLORER, which will be officially unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America meeting on November 24th, isn’t that it produces detailed images of tissues or bones. Cherry tells Inverse that it can also create 3D movies showing where certain drugs may end up in the body.

We’ve all been there: you’re out and your battery is at 5%. You’re frantically looking for an outlet for your phone in a crowded restaurant or train station. Your phone is like an extension of you so being without it isn’t just annoying, it can be crippling.

The BentoStack Charge is maybe the best solution to the battery life problem. It’s a wireless charger with both an easy to carry lid that charges your phone, and it comes with a storage box to carry a USB charger and even your wireless earbuds.

It’s deals season, folks. Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach-eth and with them heavily discounted TVs, smart speakers, and YouTube videos of people fighting each other in the aisles of a suburban Best Buy. It’s the most wonderful time of the year/everything is broken!

To get you good an amped, we trawled Amazon for the best everyday things you can already get a good deal on. Some of this stuff is new to us, and some of these items are among our readers favorite items of all time. From a modern and powerful toothbrush to a neat little pet grooming solution to the best and most smartly-designed mug of all time (no, really), there’s some great stuff in here. Get it before it’s gone.

Meeting ambitious manufacturing targets for the Model 3 required what Elon Musk memorably dubbed “production hell” and a relatively impromptu tented production line. Despite the doubters, Tesla managed to ramp up in time to hit its 5,000-car-per-week goal by the end of June by a margin of just 31 Model 3s. Now, it seems a similar ramp-up is underway to help fill a staggering number of orders for Tesla’s solar roof.