March 24, 2016 | Jon Farrow

I've never been good at sitting still, so watching paint dry seems like a terrible idea to me.

Scientists at the University of Surrey have more patience than me, and have discovered that it's possible to mix paints that will dry into two distinct layers. Each layer could have different properties, meaning that you could make a sunscreen that dried to be UV-blocking on top and moisturising below.

I'm always amazed at how, if you look closely enough, even the apparently mundane can be really exciting.

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The scientists used atomic force microscopes to find out how the paint dried at nano scale.

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Image: Flickr/Jimmie

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