Spider webs are incredibly strong and flexible. It’s no surprise, then, that spider silk proteins may someday form durable artificial ligaments for people who have injured their knees or shoulders. Six different kinds of silk are produced by orb-web weaving spiders. These silk fibers have very different mechanical properties that are so effective they have changed very little over millions of years. How to synthetically develop these silks is one focus of Lewis’ research. The secret to producing large quantities of spider silk is to use “factories” designed to manufacture spider silk proteins that are easily scale-able and efficient. Lewis uses transgenic goats, E.coli bacteria, transgenic alfalfa and transgenic silk worms to produce the spider silk proteins used to create spider silk. Spider silk is 100 times stronger than natural ligaments and 10 times stronger than natural tendons; it is stronger than Kevlar and more elastic than nylon.
A 6min brief on the work being done in Laramie, WY whereby spider silk is being spun from goat milk. SPIDERGOATS [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 24, 2013 -
People have been upset
about Pluto's demotion for some time now. (While classical music fans
have just had a love/hate relationship with this whole process.) But astronomical hate mail
has never been as cute as the missives Neil deGrasse Tyson has received over the years from tots upset at poor Pluto's ouster.
posted by greekphilosophy
on Mar 15, 2010 -
— An animated short that explores the unbelievably cruel but really adorable world of underground pug fighting.
posted by blasdelf
on Jun 22, 2009 -
Winter showed up with a vengeance over most of the country. This video
is helping me love the season.
posted by vytae
on Dec 22, 2008 -
, an Italian mastiff puppy, was introduced as a playmate to 10-week-old Koza, a lion cub whose twin died, at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The idea is that lions are social animals, but there are no other lion cubs at the park for Koza to interact with. Cairo is the next best thing.
posted by jonson
on Feb 4, 2006 -