Self organizing solar panels

“Scientists at MIT have discovered molecules that spontaneously assemble themselves into a pattern that can turn light into electricity — essentially a self-creating solar panel. In a petri dish.” [Link]

I was wondering if this discovery has a practical application. A commenter has the same question, someone else answers:

The implication of the addition of an ‘additive’ to disassemble into a liquid ‘soup’ is that the stuff can be sprayed/painted onto a surface. It also means that it can be mixed with polymers and woven into materials etc.

Paint or spray your house/car/boat/aircraft with it, and decide you want a different colour? No problem, spray the additive/solvent and it comes off.

(Thanks to Audrey Thompson for the pointer.)

Memories are made of this

Researchers are learning how memory works, via PKMzeta molecules that facilitate “speed dialing” among brain cells, “like a group of people joined in common witness of some striking event.”

Call on one and word quickly goes out to the larger network of cells, each apparently adding some detail, sight, sound, smell. The brain appears to retain a memory by growing thicker, or more efficient, communication lines between these cells.

By manipulating PKMzeta, it may be possible to edit memories, which “raises huge ethical issues,” according to Dr. Steven E. Hyman, a neurobiologist at Harvard. While you might be able to remove traumatic memories, the drug could be misused to eliminate memories that support moral conscience. [Link]