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Roll-up newspapers not far away

That roll-up newspaper we’ve seen in science fiction movies is a step closer to reality today, thanks to efforts of a group of scientists at Cambridge University, in the U.K.

On the table for consideration now are copper-alloy structures that can change shape from a flat screen into a tube or other portable shapes without hinges, locks, or latches. The scientists have overcome the natural stress associated with shape-changing. Essentially, the bending of a piece of metal converts the natural stress into a positive force, bending the metal into a different shape.

The goal, of course, is flexible displays, like electronic newspapers, which could be carried around in a roll and then unrolled and placed on a flat surface for reading (just like you can do today with paper). The scientists didn’t stop there, however. They also said that the technology could be applied on a larger scale to temporary shelters.

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