Washington (UPI) Jul 30, 2010
Scientists say they are closer to learning how to make artificial silk that could bring medical and materials advances, but some obstacles remain.
Researchers have determined natural silk, stronger for its weight than Kevlar or steel, is "a relatively simple protein processed from water," but exactly how spiders and silkworms produce the material is still a mystery, an article in the journal Science says.
Researchers want to gain a better understanding of what silk is and how it's made, hoping to consistently replicate and enhance its production synthetically, the article said.
Scientists know spiders and silkworms pull silk out of special glands. Spiders pull it with their legs, while silkworms perform a "dance" with their heads to create the silk threads.
Despite this knowledge, Tufts University researchers Fiorenzo G. Omenetto and David L. Kaplan say, "There are still significant knowledge gaps in understanding how to reverse-engineer silk protein fibers."
Figuring out how to artificially replicate and modify silk could lead to breakthroughs in medicine and other fields, the researchers say.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
Microbial World's Use Of Metals Mostly Unmapped
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jul 21, 2010
A new way of surveying microbes for the metals they contain reveals that biologists have been relying on the equivalent of a 15th century map of the world. It turns out that there are many more metal-containing proteins in microbes than previously recognized. This means the microbial world boasts a broader and more diverse array of metal-driven chemical processes than scientists have imagi ... read more
China Leads In Outer Space Pollution|
Research aims at making artificial silk
Satellites get new 'lives,' new jobs
Japan mobile phone makers to roll out 'augmented reality'
Raytheon's ASTOR Saving Lives In The Counterinsurgency Battle
Testing Of Australia's Network Centric Command And Control System Completed
Thales UK wins Congo army radio contract
Savi Ships Compact Mobile Tracking Systems For Marine Afghan Forces
Sea Launch Signs Agreement With EchoStar
ISRO To Launch GSLV With Cryo Engine Within An Year
Ariane 5 Is Ready For Its Payload Integration
NASA Tests Launch Abort System At Supersonic Speeds
Russia To Launch 3 Glonass Satellites In September
China Launches Fifth Satellite For Its Own Global Navigation Network
Navigation That Makes Sense Of Life's Twists And Turns
INRIX Expands The Largest Traffic Network In Europe
Spanish military may replace absent air traffic controllers
China jumbo jet maker picks GE, Eaton as suppliers
Swiss solar plane makes history with round-the-clock flight
Solar Impulse plane packed with technology
Protein From Poplar Trees Can Be Used To Greatly Increase Computer Capacity
Polymer Synthesis Could Aid Future Electronics
Acer, Asus and Lenovo lead pack as PC sales surge
Intel posts 'best quarter' ever
GOES-13 Satellite Sees Severe Storms Strike US East Coast
Integral Systems Helps DigitalGlobe Enhance Earth Imaging Download Capacity
Cluster Makes Crucial Step In Understanding Space Weather
NASA Satellite Improves Pollution Monitoring
A New Way Of Decomposing BPA-containing Plastic
New study aims to locate underwater oil from Gulf spill
Landmark cluster bomb treaty takes effect
China rivers hit by flood-related chemical spills
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|