In true scientific style, groups have been working on nanomaterials for years with slow and steady progress – and then all of a sudden a colossal breakthrough knocks everyone flat. A group over in Texas has managed to produce nanotube-based ribbon at the staggering rate of several metres per minute, reported in this week’s Science.

Like New Scientist, Science likes to have people pay before they can read impressive articles, but other outlets (Nature and WorldChanging) covered the story almost as soon as it broke. An interesting issue on the reportage was that of different perspectives. Nature, as one might expect, focused on the science, but gave coverage to the patents filed and applications such as flexible televisions and heated car windscreens. WorldChanging, on the other hand, raved about new generations of batteries, medical dressings and solar panels.

Nature: Nanotube sheets come of age
WorldChanging: Ribbons, Sheets and the Nanofuture

Watch this space.