Although we still have a long way to go before we can put a superhero in a suit that can change size at the click of a button, scientists have found a way to shrink 3D objects to the nanoscale, patterning the objects with everything from metals to DNA.
The new technique can be used to create any shape or structure imaginable through a polymer scaffold that can be patterned with a laser. Materials can be attached to the scaffold and shrunk down, resulting in structures that are as small as 1/1,000th the volume of the original object.
“It’s a way of putting nearly any kind of material into a 3D pattern with nanoscale precision,” said Edward Boyden, senior author of the research and associate professor of biological engineering and of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT. “There are all kinds of things you can do with this. Democratizing nanofabrication could open up frontiers we can’t yet imagine.”
Boyden is right, since current nanostructure creation techniques can’t be used to produce 3D structures, only 2D structures. In order to make 3D structures, layers have to be added on top of each other with current technology. This results in a lot of extra time and expense, and it’s a challenging process, to boot.
Boyden had to overcome some significant barriers to make the progress that he achieved with his students. It all started with a technique that he developed years ago that could provide high-res brain tissue images. The expansion microscopy process was reversed in order to take large-scale objects and shrink them to nanoscale using “implosion fabrication.”
“People have been trying to invent better equipment to make smaller nanomaterials for years, but we realized that if you just use existing systems and embed your materials in this gel, you can shrink them down to the nanoscale, without distorting the patterns,” said graduate student Samuel Rodriques.
The Best Female Villains of All Time, Ranked
Let’s be honest, women do villainy better. With their shrewd tactics and sharp words, we ranked the incredible female villains that stole the show with their performance.
Elle Driver – Kill Bill
Elle Driver goes by the name California Mountain Snake and is a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. From first looks, she seems sinister as she dons an eye-patch and carries a literal samurai sword. She was one of the people behind the wedding day tragedy and the one who pulled the trigger one last time on Beatrix.
Harley Quinn – Suicide Squad
Now, here’s a villain that would never need any other character to make a movie a hit- she can carry an entire movie on her shoulders. Joker’s lover and trusty accomplice in the DC Universe is every bit as malicious as the people wanted her to be. She started off as a psychiatrist who was assigned to treat the Joker. However, things take an unexpected turn when she falls in love with him and promises to set him free. After a painful round of electrocution and a “rejuvenating” acid bath, she becomes Harley Quinn.
Regina Mills – Once Upon a Time
A human form of the Evil Queen, Regina Mills is one of the primary characters of Once Upon a Time. In the small town of Storybrooke, not every fairy tale character has the fortune of having their memory, but Regina does. At the beginning of the series, she takes on the role of mayor and strikes fear in the hearts of citizens to get the position. She might look normal, but she’s the epitome of evil.
All Maleficent wanted was to be respected, but the kingdom just didn’t like her enough to invite her to their baby princess’s christening. What does Maleficent do? Conjure a curse so powerful that it leaves the king and queen in shatters. In the live-action film, it’s portrayed a bit differently. Maleficent is seen to be in a romantic relationship with Stephan, who betrays her for a chance at the throne by cutting off her wings. The horned villainess smirks as she spins a destructive spell around the small Aurora.
Evanora – Oz the Great and Powerful
An iconic villainess in the truest form and living up to her name, the Wicked Witch of the East became the face of witches that came after her. She pulls every trick in her book to prevent Dorothy from reaching the Wizard, as not only did her house accidentally fall on the Wicked Witch’s sister’s house. Dorothy however also obtained her sister’s red ruby slippers that the Witch had been eyeing. Her shrill voice, broom-as-a-carrier, and pointy hat became the OG witch design after 1939.
Madison Lee – Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Madison Lee used to be an Angel, but she turned to the dark side after wishing to sell sensitive information to crime syndicates. The 2003 film saw one of the most talented Angels out of all that worked for Charlie. Madison was known to be a great fighter and even received a Nobel prize in astrophysics. In one particular case, she goes off on her own, endangering her teammates’ lives as well as herself. She developed a striking ego that made her want to become a “God” rather than an Angel.
Amy Dunne – Gone Girl
On the list of movies that throw the audience down a confusing loop, Gone Girl would get a top spot. At the center of the movie, there’s the missing wife, Amy Dunne. Spoiler alert – you’ll soon realize that this manipulative woman is in fact pulling the strings the entire time. The film based on the novel of the same name tells the story of a twisted woman who goes to unthinkable heights to frame her husband for being responsible for her passing away, and she doesn’t even reconsider harming herself for it.
Lady Tremaine – Cinderella
Every little kid who was terrified of their stepmom can perhaps root it back to Lady Tremaine. She marries Cinderella’s father and promises to handle the household afterward, but her intentions are completely opposite. After her husband passes away, she forces Cinderella to become a maid for her and her spoiled daughters. Every time she attempts to do something, Lady Tremaine squashes it. She lets her daughters mercilessly rip apart Cinderella’s late mother’s dress – something we absolutely can’t forgive, ever.
Annie Wilkes – Misery
A disturbing case of “fans gone wild,” Annie Wilkes appears like any other superfan would – dedicated, passionate, and adoring of her favorite writer, Paul Sheldon. Paul creates romance novels revolving around a character called Misery. By luck, Annie saves Paul after he gets into a terrible accident, but he soon learns that she isn’t the sweet girl she seems. After she gets to know that he plans to eliminate Misery in the next installment of the books, she tortures him to rewrite the part.
White Witch – The Chronicles of Narnia
The White Witch remains as one of the more complicated plotlines of The Chronicles of Narnia franchise. With shards of ice spiking from her head, which is considered the crown, the White Witch is as manipulative as she is vengeful. She wishes to take the land of Narnia for herself, but the mighty Aslan stands in front of her. To get him to kneel before her, he tricks a teenage boy into thinking that she’s the well-wisher while the others are “freaks.”
Alex Forrest – Fatal Attraction
Fatal Attraction does a splendid job in striking fear in anyone’s heart who ever even considered adultery in a relationship. The spurned lover, Alex Forrest, decides to destroy her former partner Michael Douglas and his wife after realizing she was simply a weekend fling for him. Completely off the rails and with nothing to hold her back, Alex did upset a lot of feminists with the portrayal of a psychopath in the movie. Warning – after watching it, you may develop an inexplicable fear of bunnies.
Mystique – X-Men
Although she belongs to the evil side of the X-Men franchise, Mystique is an interesting character. Her mutant powers enable her to shape-shift into anyone she wishes. We saw the true depth of her powers when she transformed into Wolverine during the battle at the Statue of Liberty. Despite not being able to copy his powers, which was a total giveaway, she still bought the gang valuable time. Her abilities truly shone when she impersonated a dead Senator to help the Brotherhood.
O-Ren Ishii – Kill Bill
Much like her choice of weapon, O-Ren Ishii is a double-ended sword, sharp and deadly enough to finish anyone in seconds. After her parents are brutally wiped out, she is orphaned at the age of 11 and starts training to become an assassin. She climbs her way to the top of the ranks through her skills in an otherwise male-dominated Japanese crime syndicate going by the name Yakuza. The cold-blooded villainess does everything in her power to avenge her family’s passing away and won’t falter for a second.
Baroness – GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Catsuits just go seamlessly on iconic sensual, femme fatales, and that’s a fact. She is a lieutenant to Cobra and serves as his intelligence officer. With her cascading black locks, rimmed glasses, and the classic outfit, Baroness’s beauty can only be matched with her vindictive nature. Alongside Destro and the Commander, she’s one of the members of the ruling Cobra Triumvirate. Her loyalty is thinly distributed between both men, but she wouldn’t flinch in playing them against each other.
Queen Ravenna – Snow White & The Huntsman
One more sinister version of the Evil Queen, Queen Ravenna freezes people with fear with her cold glances and ruthless orders. Draped in black like many other villainous characters, she is the tyrannical ruler that’s made the people of Tabor’s life a living hell. Snow White is her stepdaughter that she never really liked. All hell breaks loose when the magic mirror concludes that Snow White is the “fairest of them all.” Out of jealousy, Ravenna plots to take her life to attain all her riches and eternal beauty.
Drusilla – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The girlfriend of vampire Spike, Drusilla is deranged beyond limits. Spike may be feared for his actions, but Drusilla beats him in every aspect on the evil scale. As she kept on tormenting Angel and Buffy in California, it never seemed like she had a real plan. It was as if this was all a game for her, which makes her even more terrifying. Weird, crazy psychotic games manifest in her as she eliminates an entire room filled with lawyers with a view to making LA a zone for demons.
Catwoman – Batman Returns
Even Hell can’t compare with a woman scorned. Catwoman started out as simply secretary Selina Kyle. Her boss attempts to take her life, and she somehow escapes, and melancholy and anger consume her. She takes on the alias of Catwoman with only one goal in mind-wiping her boss out. Well, her reason isn’t that invalid, but it’s still wrong. The audience low-key loved it when she was successful in her attempts and justice was served in a cold-hearted, twisted kind of way.
Cruella de Vil – 101 Dalmatians
Disney has some unique villains, but none of them may have been as influential as Cruella de Vil. Although the film 101 Dalmatians was made for children, Cruella was definitely not a kid-friendly antagonist. She wanted to use the Dalmatian puppies for their hide to make herself a couture coat. The writer of the original novel was clever enough in naming her as it’s literally a play on the words “cruel” and “evil.” The best part is, she never needed some sorcery of evil spells to create a reign of terror.
Esther – Orphan
The antagonist of the film Orphan is none other than a 9-year-old foster child going by the name Esther; except, she isn’t actually nine, but a 33-year-old psychopath called Leena Klammer. The reason for her youthful appearance is a pituitary disorder. Frustrated by the weird phase where she’s neither a child nor a grown adult, Leena takes her anger out through violence – by manipulating and eliminating men. She even attempts to manipulate her foster father but fails and proceeds to take his life.
Miranda Priestly – The Devil Wears Prada
If there’s any villain on this list that deserves mass respect, it’s none else than Miranda Priestly. Donned from head-to-toe in some of the most stunning ensembles, Miranda is rumored to be loosely based on Vogue editor Anna Wintour. If you think about it, she had all the reasons to be stuck-up and strict. She struggled tremendously to achieve her position, and she wasn’t going to be caught shaking for a moment. Nevertheless, her sheer disrespect to every living thing is slightly off-putting.
Xenia Onatopp – Goldeneye
She might be the most revolutionary Bond villain of all time – Xenia Onatopp may be fueled by her despicable urges, but she’s one diva when she’s at it. Before joining the Janus crime syndicate, Xenia was a fighter pilot in the Soviet Air force. She’s ruthless and received gratification from taking people’s lives. Her sadistic thought process paired with the lack of remorse after taking lives make it safe to call her a sociopath.
Bonnie Parker – Bonnie and Clyde
Before the romanticizing of the famous criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde took over the world, Bonnie was a simple waitress. Falling in love with ex-convict Clyde turned her into the woman committing notorious bank robberies and other crimes. The 1967 film transformed the otherwise plain-jane thief into a titular fashion icon with a closet full of nice knits, fancy berets, and neat scarves. Bonnie is seen to have a calm-mind while plotting everything from a small gas station robbery to some major heists.
Borg Queen – Star Trek: First Contact
Move over villains of Star Trek, Borg Queen has set new standards for the role. The Borg are viewed as a community, but the Queen is held in higher regard. She will do anything to make sure that her kind stays safe, which is what any good leader would do, but not at the cost of an entire universe! In this particular film, she travels back in time and destroys the earth. The protagonists had their share of trouble trying to take her down.
Norma Bates – Psycho
For Norma, her son, Norman means everything and he’s at the center of her universe. This doesn’t pan out like you’d expect, and the son is left battling psychosis and develops an inability to retain a stable relationship with any female. Throughout his life, his mother goes to horrendous lengths to prevent him from involving with a girl which drives Norman off the edge. At the tail end of the movie, he takes her life all because of her.
Emma Frost – X-Men: First Class
This female supervillain shines in her role. No, she literally shines! The diamond skinned Emma is an evil version of Charles Xavier and the right-hand person of Sebastian Shaw. Her goal is to begin a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. Anyone left alive would be mutated, and then the mutants would take over the planet. She is resilient to psychic attacks, which makes her significantly more difficult to defeat. To stop her, Magneto has to strangle her with a metal pipe and break her diamond skin.
Tiffany – Bride of Chucky
You can’t talk about the scariest films of all time and not mention Bride of Chucky. The small doll wreaks havoc wherever he goes with that petrifying face of his. However, Tiffany, his ex-girlfriend before he got trapped in the doll, is one character that the fans loved, which is why she appeared in many more installments of the franchise. She uses some weird voodoo to resurrect Chucky so they can go on to take one more life. Chucky subsequently traps her in a wedding doll.
Poison Ivy – Batman and Robin
After Catwoman, Poison Ivy is one of the greatest villains Batman ever faced off against – male and female combined. She is actually the sole redeeming character of the movie Batman and Robin. This sinister temptress produces toxins that she then uses to intoxicate men, make them fall in love with her with just a kiss, and then have them do her bidding. Ivy debuted in the DC universe in 1966 and remains one of the best additions to the villain party.
Joan Crawford – Mommie Dearest
Joan Crawford single-handedly ruined the reputation of foster mothers all around the world. Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina pens a memoir in 1978 of the same title where she goes into details about how much of a tyrant she was, going around terrorizing her kids. Though the story might have been exaggerated a bit, it’s still haunting how someone would ever be capable of doing things like that in real life. We can only hope there are never any more Joan Crawfords in the world.
Amanda Young – Saw
Amanda is the Jigsaw’s apprentice in the second installment of the Saw franchise. In that movie, she managed to survive Jigsaw’s trap and recovered from her long run of substance use. When he offered her to join him, she accepted and started off on her own twisted journey. With every passing day, her mental health deteriorated, and she became increasingly dangerous. She failed the final test on how to save a life, as she wanted to do the opposite and had a bullet punched into her.
Queen of Hearts – Alice in Wonderland
Their actions make villains scary, but what about a disturbingly large head? The Queen of Hearts is anything but what the sweet name suggests, and her favorite line “Off with their heads” will forever remain a big part of the history of Disney villains. This she-devil has become an important part of different adaptations of the same Alice in Wonderland films, but nothing was as terrifying as her head inflating into a balloon in the live-action version.
Catherine Tramell – Basic Instinct
A titular femme fatale, Catherine Tramell sits cross-legged in her little white heels and sharp stilettoes as she pulls threads to satisfy her bloodlust. The malevolent, cold-hearted villainess became one of the cinema’s most memorable female characters with her sassy attitude and nonetheless killer intentions. She either directly took the lives of people, or hired others to take them out. No matter what, she’s a bad character but a fashionable one at that.
Hela – Thor: Ragnarok
Hela is banished to Hell by her father Odin, and she remains there for centuries only to return with an unquenchable bloodlust. Thor’s sister is every bit the antithesis to his protagonist traits, and she does one great job at it. Hungry for power, she manages to conquer Asgard after sending her brother off, planning on re-establishing control. When the people show disobedience, she executes them. To defeat her, Thor has to destroy her home. Any villain capable of crushing Thor’s hammer with one hand is definitely iconic.
Bellatrix Lestrange – Harry Potter
Bellatrix Lestrange might have been a better villain than Lord Voldemort himself. There, we said it! Bellatrix had dedicated her entire life and pledged complete and everlasting allegiance to He Who Shall Not Be Named in the whimsical stories of Hogwarts. Her “love” for Voldemort is so strong that she wouldn’t think twice before putting her life on the line for him. She’s sentenced to life in Azkaban for torturing Neville Longbottom’s parents to insanity, but she eventually finds her way out and reverts to her dark antics.
Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter
All the frills and pastels might fool anyone at first glance, but Dolores Umbridge would lose to Bellatrix Lestrange as one of the best villains of the Harry Potter franchise by a small margin. She enters Hogwarts as a Defence Against Dark Arts professor, and it seemed like she arrived at the school with a motive. To become headmistress, Dolores leaves no stones unturned. If she doesn’t like a student, she makes sure to punish them ruthlessly while using her favorites to spy on the rest.
Regina George – Mean Girls
“Evil takes a human form in Regina George,” said Janis. She wasn’t exactly wrong. The quintessential teen diva of many clichéd coming-of-age films, Regina takes everything one step further with her mind games and tricks. She’s extremely popular and rich, but she’s also much self-centered and vengeful. She can be seen bullying Cady at the beginning of the movie, but as the story proceeds, she befriends her. This doesn’t stop her from wielding everyone’s insecurities as a tool to cause chaos. She’s that one villain we all love to hate.
Regan MacNeil – The Exorcist
Horror movies are discombobulating on their own, but add an innocent doe-eyed kid to the mix, and you have a recipe for a spine-chilling production. The possessed daughter, Regan is perhaps one of the most terrifying children to ever grace the silver screen. Yes, she isn’t technically the villain as the demon does take over her body, but it’s still enough to give anyone nightmares. The demon named Pazuzu uses Regan’s body to terrorize her family, and when the mother brings in Father Karras to help, it also attacks him.
Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Her plans are never to heal you, as she hides something much darker within her soul – the description goes perfectly with Nurse Ratched of the 1975 drama titled One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She looks like any other nurse but secretly tortures the patients at a mental hospital. To make things worse, she’s the head nurse, which makes sure that she never gets caught. With one hand over the hospital, Ratched undoubtedly puts another over the success of the film which went on to win five Oscars.
Cersei Lannister – Game Of Thrones
The ultimate epitome of a psychotic, cold-blooded villainess, Cersei Lannister has become one of the most hated characters in all of silver screen history. In the very first episode, she is seen in an inappropriate relationship with her twin brother, Jaime. Caught in the act by a small kid, Cersei doesn’t bat an eye when Bran is pushed off the tower to protect her secret. Cersei also took the lives of her husband’s kids in their infancy because she didn’t want any competition to the throne once he passed away.
Kathryn Merteuil – Cruel Intentions
In front of Kathryn Merteuil, Anastasia and Drizella look like good sisters. Before Regina George was ever a thing, Kathyrn was the uncrowned queen of evil teenage temptresses. However, her heinousness was much more intense. She uses her wealth and beauty to manipulate people for fun. The story gets extremely disturbing when she offers herself up on a weird bet with her step-brother. Kathyrn is a sadist character who is a horrible but prominent part of the movie.
Agatha Trunchbull – Matilda
As far as ruthless school administrators are concerned, Miss Trunchull is as intimidating as they come. Although she’s the headmistress of Crunchem Hall Elementary, she hates children to the extent that she denies ever being one herself. She physically berates the children and can also be seen literally throwing kids around, courtesy of her former Olympic shot putter life. She terrified kids into thinking that touching chocolate cake is an actual crime.