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Scientists have come up with a new for wood. They have devised a to make it transparent. This could totally change the way many things in our are used and made. See-through wood could one day replace and be used in windows and tables, for iPhone , and in a whole assortment of other building materials. The innovation has come from researchers at the University of Maryland in the USA. They experimented with different ways to extract the from wood that give it . Researcher Liangbing Hu said: "We were very surprised by how it could go. This can really open applications that can potentially replace glass and some optical ."

The researchers worked with a small of linden wood. They boiled it in water, hydroxide and other chemicals for about two hours. A called lignin, which gives wood its colour, disappeared during the boiling . This left behind colourless cells, which made the wood transparent. The see-through wood is a lot stronger and less than glass. It is at insulating against the cold and it is biodegradable. Research is still in its and the process can currently only be done on 10cm by 10cm blocks of wood that range in thickness between -thin and a centimeter thick. The researchers will now focus on applying the process on a much larger .

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