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Press Release 10-129

If Spiders and Worms Can Do It, Why Can't We?

Future research could spin up new medical and materials breakthroughs based on silk, but obstacles remain in quest to replicate natural silk production, scientists say in this week's edition of Science

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See how silkworms and spiders work their magic in this video.

Credit: David T. Wright, National Science Foundation

 

Photo of a silkworm cocoon spun in a lab at Tufts University.

A silkworm cocoon spun in a lab at Tufts University. Humanity has used silk for centuries, but in recent years, researchers have worked to gain a better understanding of what silk is and how it's made, with the goal of being able to consistently replicate and enhance its production synthetically. In the June 30, 2010, edition of the journal Science, two Tufts University researchers, Fiorenzo G. Omenetto and David L. Kaplan, review the state of silk research, the challenges that remain, and why synthetic silk production is so appealing.

Credit: David Kaplan, Tufts University


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Cover of the July 30, 2010, issue of the journal Science.

The review of the state of silk research is described in the July 30 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2010


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