In this talk, we review recent progress with a new class of liquid crystalline materials. These materials, which are based upon molecules having a reduced symmetry class, exhibit unexpected behavior, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Furthermore, they also hold significant promise for novel technological applications. Experimental probes include high resolution calorimetry, mechano-electrical response, the effects of ultra-high magnetic fields and nonlinear optical properties. We will discuss various mechanisms which can potentially explain these effect.