For years, scientists have failed to create a substance that could pass as Spider-Man‘s web. But now, it looks like this could become a reality thanks to researchers at the University of Wyoming. While there are many commercial uses because spider’s silk can be stronger than steel with respect to its weight ratio, what we’re interested in is obviously the fact that we can use this information to create real web slingers!
Researchers have tried for years to get the best of both worlds – super-strong silk in industrial quantities – by transplanting genes from spiders into worms. But the resulting genetically modified worms have not produced enough spider silk until now.
GM worms produced by a team led by Professor Don Jarvis of Wyoming University seem to be producing a composite of worm and spider silk in large amounts – which the researchers say is just as tough as spider silk.
Commenting on the work, Dr Christopher Holland from the University of Oxford, said that the development represented a step toward being able to produce toughened silk commercially.
According to the lay people, these are the possible uses of this spider silk:
The main applications could be in the the medical sector creating stronger sutures, implants and ligaments. But the GM spider silk could also be used as a greener substitute for toughened plastics, which require a lot of energy to produce.
Which is great and all, but the best part of this is that we’ll have some fuckin’ real web slingers! I’m sure we’ll also end up with some fat guy in a blue and red suit parading himself as Spider-Man after having gotten his hands on some of this stuff and making web slingers. It’ll happen. Seriously.
Source: You Bent My Wookie
Category: Nerd Culture