Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic spider silk strong enough for a superhero

Date:
March 5, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Spider silk of fantastical, superhero strength is finally speeding toward commercial reality -- at least a synthetic version of it is. The material, which is five times stronger than steel, could be used in products from bulletproof vests to medical implants, according to a new article.

Spider silk of fantastical, superhero strength is finally speeding toward commercial reality -- at least a synthetic version of it is. The material, which is five times stronger than steel, could be used in products from bulletproof vests to medical implants, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN).

Alex Scott, a senior editor at C&EN, notes that spider silk's impressive strength has been studied for years, and scientists have been trying to make a synthetic version of the super-strong protein in the lab. For other simpler proteins, scientists have been able to insert relevant genes into bacterial DNA, essentially turning the microorganisms into protein factories. But spider silk has not been so easy to churn out. In fact, the challenge has caused big name companies including DuPont and BASF to bow out after several years of investment.

Now, small firms just might have found the right genetic tricks, the article states. They are coaxing not just genetically engineered bacteria but also goats, transgenic silkworms and even alfalfa to produce multiple different versions of synthetic spider and spider-silkworm silks. One company has even taken their iteration to the market -- though theirs is a non-fiber kind of spider silk for use in cosmetics. So far, commercialization has been on a modest scale. But the research pipeline for synthetic spider silk is very active, and scientists expect that production is right on the verge of scaling up.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alex Scott. Spider Silk Poised For Commercial Entry. Chemical & Engineering News, 2014; 92 (9): 24-27 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Synthetic spider silk strong enough for a superhero." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125154.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, March 5). Synthetic spider silk strong enough for a superhero. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125154.htm
American Chemical Society. "Synthetic spider silk strong enough for a superhero." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305125154.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins