Super-strength spider silk made by bacteria

If you’re scared of spiders but also need really strong silk, have no fear, because engineers at Washington University, US, have developed bacteria that can make super-strong spider-inspired fibres. The bacteria were genetically engineered to artificially produce proteins very similar to spider silk, which has a lot of nanocrystals – the main source of strength … Continue reading Super-strength spider silk made by bacteria

Doing spiders out of a job

Spider silk has a lot going for it. It’s strong, very light, biodegradable and biocompatible, and has the potential to be used in everything from tear-resistant clothing to aerospace components. The one downside is that it tends to be in short supply because only spiders produce it, and they’re slow. But that might be about … Continue reading Doing spiders out of a job