(Newser) It’s a happy accident: A mistake at an IBM research lab has created “a super-strong, super-light, and super-recyclable new material,” that could transform the old-school world of plastics and polymers and improve a slew of products, NBC News reports. Most of our polymers date back decades—think Styrofoam from the 1940s or nylon from the ’30s. But when researcher Jeannette Garcia forgot an ingredient in a polymerization reaction, she ended up making two new polymers—the first discovered in 20 years—including one so strong “I couldn’t even get it out of the flask,” she says. “I had to break the glass with a hammer.”

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