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News Clippings


08-OCT-98

How Spiders Make Their Silk

WASHINGTON - A Danish scientist has discovered how the spiders make their silk. Experts said this discovery might help chemists produce spider silk on an industrial scale.

According to October's issue of Discover, Fritz Vollrath, an evolutionary zoologist at the University of Araneus in Denmark, has found that the spiders' method is remarkably similar to the process used to manufacture industrial fibers such as nylon: spiders harden their silk by acidifying it.

Spider silk is stronger than any known natural or synthetic fiber. Scientists would love to know how to mass-produce it.

But unlike the silk from silkworms, spider silk will never be harvested directly from the animals. They are cannibals, you can't keep thousands of them in a little room.

Therefore Vollrath's finding may help chemists produce spider silk on a large-scale.

Further more the spider silk is easily recycled, when you're done with your shirt fabricated with spider silk, you just eat it as the spider eats its own web.



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