Fabric foundations 2010s

Skin Deep

New advances in e-textiles or smart textiles are revolutionizing the way scientists and researchers think about the future of fabric. In 2011, engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign introduced an ultrathin skin-mounted electronic patch that can use solar cells or wireless coils to power itself.

Attached to a thin sheet of water-soluble plastic, the circuit is applied to the arm like a temporary tattoo and is designed to bend, wrinkle and stretch the same way skin does. In addition to gathering biomedical data, and measuring heart performance, researchers hope that the electric tattoo may be able to help patients who suffer from muscular and neurological disorders.


A massive earthquake hits Haiti and its capital, Port-au-Prince, is reduced to rubble. Almost 316,000 people die and 634,000 are forced to move into displacement camps while the country rebuilds.

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“Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” becomes the most expensive painting ever sold at auction at $106.5 million. Painted by Picasso, it depicts his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, and was painted in a single day.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, marries Catherine Middleton on April 29. The wedding is broadcast on television, Internet and radio in 180 different countries and an estimated 176 million viewers tune in to watch the nuptials.

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Athletes from more than 200 countries participate in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games. London is the first city to have hosted the Olympics three times.

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