Have you played the game Scribblenauts? I am quite sure that those who have given it a go would have most likely fallen in love with the title. Well, if you have a penchant for drawing stuff using a pencil, then this particular pencil from MIT is a little bit extra special. Chemists from MIT have managed to use a pencil where its graphite “lead” has been replaced by a special material that is known as carbon nanotubes. Basically, lines of carbon nanotubes are drawn on specially treated paper, and whenever an electrical current is fired through the paper, the change in resistance will be a sign that depicts the bonding of gas molecules to the nanotubes. So far, MIT’s test sensor has managed to detect small traces of ammonia gas successfully, and eventually, the whole idea of this exercise is to develop it in a way for it to function with just about any kind of gas. A smart pencil, if you will.

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