The entire premise of scientific study is to foray into unknown fields, which means that the scientific tools used in any new study often need to be built from scratch. In fact, current scientific practice allots much of the time during studies to making these new tools. Now, though, researchers from UC Riverside have created what amounts to scientific LEGO that allows scientists to easily put together unique scientific tools quickly and easily.
The LEGO-like materials are known as multifluidic evolutionary components, or MECs. Used mostly thus far for designing purpose-specific electronic equipment, the MECs can create high-tech, high-cost scientific tools quickly and cheaply through the use of a snap-on interface and 3D printed blocks. Aside from trailblazing research, MECs could be useful for hospitals that need equipment replaced soon after breaking down.