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Virtually Non-Stick Gum Created 96

An anonymous reader writes "A new polymer has been developed by Professor Terence Cosgrove that allows for a non-sticky gum. In testing the gum was removed by weather while the competitor's gum was not removed 4 out of 5 times. The BBC reports: 'The company now needs to get its polymer accepted as a food product by passing EU health and safety tests. It can then go on sale. Professor Cosgrove says he is hopeful that the gum will pass them, and says the product could be on the market as early as next year, either as a Revolymer product or through a partnership with one of the major chewing gum manufacturers.'"
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Virtually Non-Stick Gum Created

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  • by Kazzahdrane ( 882423 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:38AM (#20614059)
    This was on /. yesterday, with the same BBC news link! Interesting story though.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Finally, next great invention - just like sliced bread! No, really, I think that it's good that they finally made it. All those gums under the desks, behind the corner, just waiting there to touch them. People should be ashamed of themselves, it's quite disgusting. But the heeeero comes throughhh. Yay.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by utopianfiat ( 774016 )
        "Hey Cosgrove how's it going?"
        "Hey Freakazoid, you wanna go to the gum fair?"
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Gum, the only product that lets you find women with oral fixations and no smoker breath. It should be free of charge :)
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:54AM (#20614147) Journal
      This was on /. yesterday

      Guess the story is not sticky enough, eh?

      -1 bad pun

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kazzahdrane ( 882423 )
      Seriously, Troll? I was pointing out a dupe, *and* I made a pun. And I even commented that I actually found the story interesting. That's Informative, Funny and Insightful right there, at the basic levels. Maybe not worth modding up, but modding DOWN?

      I guess I beat some people to FRIST POST and they had mod points to vent their anger with...
  • Hopeful? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:44AM (#20614091)
    When it comes to health & safety tests, I'd feel a little better about it if the developer was *confident* his product would pass.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'd mod this funny. Last time I swallowed gum, it passed just fine.
  • by Nf1nk ( 443791 ) <nf1nk@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:49AM (#20614121) Homepage
    I thought of our lovely local landmark and its iconic walls of used gum. This would not be a good addition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubblegum_Alley [wikipedia.org]
    Its pretty gross but its also kind cool
    • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 )
      You know, I've lived in AG all my life and been to SLO countless times and I've never actually been there. I can't believe it has its own Wikipedia page.
    • I didn't know that had its own Wiki entry. Ewww. Singapore was right, ban the stuff outright, I wish they had stuck to their guns.

      You can wash cigarette smoke out of your clothes, but a wad of chewing gum attached to your shoe is forever. I guess this is a step in the right direction.
    • There's a similar wall in Seattle -- I don't think it's quite so large or thick or old, though. And I don't think there's any traditions to it, just.. gum. The biggest difference is that I've only seen that one, yep.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:49AM (#20614127) Journal
    ...I called it "Potato".
  • One problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:52AM (#20614139) Journal
    Then what the hell are we gonna stick in a girl's hair when we're bored in class? Now we'll hafta start dating them or something.
  • Oh Noes (Score:3, Funny)

    by pipingguy ( 566974 ) * on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:57AM (#20614163)
    This is such a sad development for the indoctrination of new students. So much history used to exist for newcomers in the long-respected tradition of sticking gum to the underside of desks. "New World Order" indeed. Puck Yoy!
  • by nysus ( 162232 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @04:06AM (#20614189)
    They will buy it because it tastes good. How many kids out there would would make a buying decision based on what's in the best interest of others. The costs of carelessly discarded gum are externalized and don't affect the chewer. So I don't see how this product will ever be successful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by catbutt ( 469582 )
      In theory anyway, a city or school could outlaw sticky gum once the non-sticky kind is available. On the basis of it costing a lot of money to clean up the gum (or if they don't, gum all over sidewalks is ugly).
    • by Chris Graham ( 942108 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @04:29AM (#20614295) Homepage
      Maintaining a good general image is important to the gum manufacturers. They currently (at least in the UK) pay quite a bit of money to produce advertising for people to not leave gum stuck to things. It stops a public outcry against the companies, and stops the government producing legislation giving them property damage liability. The manufacturers who don't pick this new technology will receive bad PR (as their current stance would become untenable), and that would impact on any shops selling their gum. However, I could easily see new vendors starting to sell gum that was non-stick, if those vendors previously had not done so to protect their own establishments (e.g. cinemas).
      • Since when do chewing gum companies have PR? They never really advertise, and people aren't going to switch from Wrigley's to some unknown brand because it's non-stick.

        However the real benefit is that the old 'sticky' gum can just be banned.
        • there is a lot of gum advertising in the UK
          • I've never seen any of it.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Dogtanian ( 588974 )

              I've never seen any of it.
              You evidently don't watch any commercial TV then; otherwise you must have seen the saturation ads for "Trident" gum (remember the ones that had Jamaican types yelling "mastication for the nation" until people complained that they were stereotypical, which were replaced with some twats tying themselves to factory gates and skydiving?).

              Either that or you don't actually live in the UK ;-)
              • I live in the UK, and watch commercial TV, I just turn over when the adverts come on. I didn't realise that the 'mastication for the nation' advert was about chewing gum. And I doubt people would buy it based on whether it stuck or not.
        • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

          people aren't going to switch from Wrigley's to some unknown brand because it's non-stick.
          Sure they will, once it's mandated by law. It used to be worth a ticket in Singapore to be caught chewing gum outside (why they repealed that law, I do not know). But hey, if it's OK to ticket people for smoking outdoors, why not also ticket (or ban) use of sticky chewing gum outdoors too?
    • by jackbird ( 721605 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @08:35AM (#20615207)
      Maybe it'll be legal in Singapore [wikipedia.org].
      • by SL Baur ( 19540 )
        Ah, I knew that law had been relaxed but that article makes it sound much more restrictive than I remember it (I was last in Singapore in late 2005).

        A reasonable compromise between civil liberty and cleanliness would be requiring something along the lines of the pocket portable ashtrays you can get in Japan.
      • by TheLink ( 130905 )
        From the link: "First, U.S. officials requested that Singapore express support for U.S. invasion of Iraq, this was readily agreed without fanfare. Second, they demanded that Singapore lift the ban on chewing gum."

        I dunno why, but I found that rather amusing.

    • good point, i would have never thought about that. i wouldn't be suprised if it cost more than a piece, pack, or even box of gum to remove a single piece.
    • Non-stick gum is great for older people with dentures and other delicate dental work they don't want to jar loose.
  • At least as of now the layers of gum under desks and chairs can be ignored. If this comes about, then this new 'non-stick' gum will be dropping onto the floor, getting smeared around, collecting gunk...ewhh!

    Leave gum where it is...under desks and chairs! Not on the floor where we can see it, step in it, and smear it around!

    Think of the children! They could be trapped in this morass!...Stuck to the floor, just sitting ducks for the terrorists! Something has to be done!!..call a televangelist, get a p
  • by Zouden ( 232738 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @04:22AM (#20614261)
    ...to just make a gum that's safe to swallow?
  • While according to TFA its taste and texture is similiar to normal gum, if this gum is not sticking to surfaces as hard - will it still clean up all the plaque from your teeth? I mean if its not sticking to a wall, it might as well not stick to the dirt in between your teeth.
    • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @04:57AM (#20614423) Homepage
      It doesn't remove bits stuck to your teeth particularly well anyway. The main way that it (supposedly) is good for your teeth is because chewing things makes your mouth produce saliva. This would normally soak into dry things (like for instance bread) so it doesn't stick in your throat or gullet on the way down. Because gum doesn't absorb moisture, this saliva just sloshes around in your mouth washing food particles away from your teeth and diluting sugary gunk and acids.
      • by CandyMan ( 15493 )
        Also, anything can be sticky if it has enough sugar.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by iNetRunner ( 613289 )
        Xylitol [wikipedia.org] is a good-for-your-teeth-sugar. Apparently Americans haven't really started using it yet..
      • by p3d0 ( 42270 )

        It doesn't remove bits stuck to your teeth particularly well anyway.
        Actually, I'm not sure where you heard that, but it does. I use it for that all the time. It's not like it's hard to tell whether the gum gets bits of stuff stuck in it: it definitely does.
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @04:36AM (#20614333) Homepage Journal
    ... Singapore police begin strong lobbying to ban this dangerous substance from their streets.
  • Since it dissolves in water, won't chewing for a long time mean it'll slowly dissolve in your mouth and disappear? At least accidental ingestion shouldn't be a problem anymore.
  • Teflon flavor! Yum!
  • What does by weather mean? I'm not familiar with the phrase, can someone explain it?
    • I guess it means that it will wash off, by rain and wind if nothing else.

      But what we really need is something that makes the average gum chewer look less like a masticating cow by sticking their mouths shut.
      • Gaah, also with food. To people chewing with their mouths open: You look bad and sound worse. It makes me want to stab you with a fork. Please cease.
    • "By weather" could mean a few different things:

      1. Degraded through the action of the sun and rain into tiny pieces which are then easily bio-degraded (assuming gum bio-degrades...I'm not too sure about that one. See Bubblegum Alley).

      2. Swept conveniently into a drainpipe by the wind or rain where nobody needs to worry about it any more!

      3. Eaten by a bird

      4. Eaten by a hobo
  • Why don't you freeze it with an ice cube, and hit it with a hammer? Works for me when I get bubbly-gum in the old push-broom.
    • by phedre ( 1125345 )
      I can figure out how to freeze gum in my hair, but keep that hammer away from my head.
    • More fun to completely freeze it with an upside-down can of compressed air and then smash it with a hammer. =)

      Seriously speaking though, this is what I do in the computer labs at work (high school) whenever a student gets gum stuck in the carpet, then carefully pry it out with a strong flat edge. Just be careful not to freeze yourself when spraying (also certain brands freeze better than others, making it easier to remove the gum).
  • by conares ( 1045290 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @07:00AM (#20614805)
    ...McGyver, the next time you need to repair the wings on a flying plane you wont be doing it with chewinggum
  • Now we can answer the eternal question

    Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?
    Answer: I don't know. It fell off.
  • Can I turn the sticky bit back on?
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @09:19AM (#20615441) Homepage Journal
    Yes, of course I want to chew plastic, because it's not sticky.

    Just like smokers everywhere have switched from smoking burning cigarettes to chewing tobacco, because chewing means others aren't bothered by the smoke and butt litter.
    • by Bozdune ( 68800 )
      Right, others simply have to sidestep the brown spew -- or worse, the cast-off brown wad of gum and chewing tobacco favored by major league baseball players. Hey, I know, how about a spitoon on every corner? Lobby your congresscritter!
  • Whenever I ran out of screws for my drives in the drive bays, good ol' gum was there to save the day! I guess I'll have to go back to paper clip drive mounting.
    • "
      Whenever I ran out of screws for my drives in the drive bays, good ol' gum was there to save the day! I guess I'll have to go back to paper clip drive mounting"

      Nice to see another nice Geeksquad employee posting here on /. Try to stay off of /. when there are customers in the store. Thanks
  • Why can't virtual gum, in a game, be as nonsticky as its "sticky" parameter is set to? And why bother chewing it at all?
  • I thought it meant it as in "stick of gum" and was trying to figure out why changing the shape changed how well it stuck to things. I'm an idiot. >_
    • I thought I was being dense for thinking it meant only weather could remove it, imagining all those desks being lugged outside when it rains.
  • Another one? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'm sure I remember a previous 'non-stick gum' that was invented years ago. As I recall, the only problem with that was a bitter taste, necessitating lashings of sugar to make it halfway palatable. Is this new gum in any way related?
  • by drdanny_orig ( 585847 ) * on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:36PM (#20616873)
    At first read, I thought they meant it wouldn't stick to dental work. Who cares about sidewalks and theater seats?
  • non-stick chewing gum would have caused a lot of grief for MacGyver.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein