"Could Cornstarch Have Plugged BP's Oil Well?": NPR report on a PRL Letter (March 7, 2011)
NPR's Weekend Edition aired a story on a recent Letter, P. Beiersdorfer, D. Layne, and E. W. Magee, Viscoelastic Suppression of Gravity-Driven Counterflow Instability, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 058301 (2011); see also the Viewpoint in Physics. The Letter shows how adding something as simple as cornstarch can in principle suppress the turbulent flow which caused the oil-well-plugging "top kill" procedure to fail. Significant hurdles would need to be overcome to make this work in practice.