DailyDirt: Doing Whatever A Spider Can…
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
For years, researchers have been looking at spider silk’s properties to try to re-create it into supermaterials tougher than Kevlar or steel. We’re still learning a lot about how spider silk is made and what its structures are, so it’ll probably be a few more decades before everyone is wearing clothes made from spider silk. In the meantime, here are a few interesting articles on spider silk.
- Spider webs are amazing tough and resistant to damage. Webs can retain their original strength even if 10% of the web’s spokes are cut. [url]
- The most stretchable spider silk ever tested belongs to the cave spider, Meta menardi. The silk strands from the stalks of this spider’s egg sacs can stretch up to 7.5 times their original length. [url]
- Spiders don’t actually produce much silk in their lifetimes, but silkworms are routinely used to produce commercial amounts of silk. So how about genetically modifying some silkworms to produce spider silk? Scientists are already trying to do this, but it’s not so easy. [url]
- To discover more interesting biological curiosities, check out what’s currently floating around the StumbleUpon universe. [url]
By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.