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News From the Field
Protein's Strength Lies in H-bond Cooperation

February 14, 2008

engineering graphic Researchers in Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT reveal that the strength of a biological material, like spider silk, lie in the geometric configuration of structural proteins and the small clusters of weak hydrogen bonds that work cooperatively to resist force, and dissipate energy. This structure makes protein-based materials as strong as steel, even though the hydrogen bonds that hold them together are 100 to 1,000 times weaker than the metallic bonds in steel. Full Story

Source
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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