The world is sorely lacking in mad scientists. If there were more brilliant but twisted lunatics in white lab coats, we'd all be flying around on jet packs chatting on our brain-implanted iPhones by now. They may not quite be on that level, but the creators of a new food packaging material called “Killer Paper” are well on their way.
“Killer Paper,” which (according to the American Chemical Society) recently successfully made it through a phase of lab testing, contains a coating of silver nanoparticles, which are supposed to kill bacteria on contact. Apparently silver is useful for more than just fancy utensils and the medals given to the first loser at the Olympics. In particular, the scientists say, they have found that “the coated paper showed potent antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus,” so killer paper kills the things that try to kill you.
The ultimate goal of the new packaging would be to help avoid the potential for bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics and antibacterial solutions, but in the shorter term it would also help keep bacteria off of food products, thereby extending their shelf life and keeping all sorts of packaged food edible for longer than it is now. That may initially be an unappealing proposition, but won't it be nice to have something other than Twinkies to sustain us as we make our slow journey across the post-apocalyptic wasteland?