• Spider silk is among the strongest known materials. While some researchers are pursuing synthetic spider silk, scientists at MIT have taken another approach … they've devised a method of using silkworm silk to produce fibers that are almost as stiff as spider silk.
  • Science
    ​The ultra-fine nature of spider silk has provided inspiration for scientists developing sensitive new types of microphones. Further down the track, these new devices could be put to use in advanced hearing aids and phones that pick up sounds at much lower frequencies.
  • ​Natural spider silk is already amazingly strong stuff, plus scientists have developed synthetic versions of the material. Now, however, researchers have split the difference – they've created silk that comes from spiders, but that has added man-made ingredients which give it extra strength.
  • ​​So far as nature's wonder materials go, spider silk is right up there. Now scientists have uncovered another exciting application for it, using it to bridge the gap between severed nerves that would otherwise struggle to be repaired.​
  • Chronic middle ear disease can lead to infection, pain, hearing loss and perforated eardrums, and may take several rounds of surgery to address the problems. Now an Australian team of researchers has developed the ClearDrum, a silk implant that can repair a damaged eardrum with just one procedure.
  • ​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.
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