Silk

  • ​The American brown recluse spider is already known for being one of the most venomous arachnids on the planet. It turns out, however, that the spider also has very strong silk. Scientists have recently discovered the secret of that strength, and believe that it could have practical applications.
  • ​Silk may be strong, elastic and biodegradable, but unfortunately it's also expensive. With that in mind, scientists recently set out to produce lower-cost artificial silk. They've already succeeded in producing small quantities, using whey protein.
  • Lightweight and extremely strong, spider silk is ideal for use in many applications. Unfortunately, large numbers of spiders are hard to handle and produce very little silk individually. Now researchers have created a prototype process to spin silk thread grown by bacteria on a large scale.
  • Scientists say they've devised a way to create "programmable" silk-based forms that have a variety of optical, chemical or biological functions. Imagine pins or other mechanical components that change color when they near a breaking point, or solids that can deliver drugs, among other possible uses.
  • Adidas is no stranger to experimenting with alternative materials and manufacturing techniques, such as shoes made of recycled ocean plastic and 3D printed runners. These have now been joined by the new Futurecraft Biofabric, made of a new biodegradable material called Biosteel.
  • China-based scientists have discovered that by feeding graphene and carbon nanotubes to silkworms, the silk they produced was much stronger and could take on the ability to conduct electricity.
  • Like other automakers around the world, Lexus is gearing up for the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Along with a world-premiere crossover concept, Lexus will reveal a very different kind of concept: a web-like driver's seat crafted from synthetic spider silk.
  • How does a spider's web remain taut after being warped out of shape by winds and intrusive insects? Scientists have now unraveled this little mystery and used it as the basis of a self-spooling liquid wire they say could be used in a variety of applications.
  • Researchers have discovered that they can preserve blood at higher temperatures by storing it amongst silk proteins, a development that could mean big things for health care in places where cooling facilities are scarce.​
  • Science
    ​How often do you end up throwing out fruit that spoiled before you could eat it? Well, it may soon be happening a lot less, thanks to a new silk-based coating. Strawberries treated with the substance remained fresh and juicy for up to a week without refrigeration.
  • Japanese company Spiber recently joined forces with The North Face to create a parka made from its QMONOS synthetic spider silk. Called the Moon Parka, the garment is reportedly "the world’s first piece of clothing made from artificial protein material."
  • Bonhams Stafford Spring sale has been responsible for more sales of elite motorcycles than any other single sale anywhere in the world, rivaling even the combined January Las Vegas sales. Not surprisingly, there are a number of very rare and valuable motorcycles going under the hammer on April 26.