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Potholes

As we enter another winter driving season that will rip up Chicago roads and turn strips of asphalt into a lunar landscape, it's heartening to see that a better future may be upon us. According to the Future of Highways report from Arup, a London-based design and architecture firm, researchers at the University of Bath are experimenting with a new type of concrete that includes "self-healing" bacteria that produces limestone when activated by water that has eaten through cracks in the surface. We can only hope the technology works for our roadways. If that seems far-fetched, the report also includes info on car tires with retractable studs for the realist in all of us. [Arup]