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Researchers at the Tangible Media Group have developed “programmable droplets” of water that can be used to communicate words. “One potential application is a mirror that, when steamed, allows someone to display a message from a smartphone” writes Jesus Diaz for Co.Design. “The larger idea is to provoke surprise and delight, the way only the natural world can.”

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MIT researchers have developed hardware that uses electric fields to move droplets of chemical or biological solutions around a surface, mixing them in ways that could be used to test thousands of reactions in parallel.

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Using electric fields to manipulate droplets on a surface could enable high-volume, low-cost biology experiments.