Italian scientists sprayed spiders with water that contained a mixture of graphene flakes and carbon nanotubes -- and the spiders began producing silk that was, by some measures, six times stronger than before.
The team isn't sure how the graphene and carbon nanotubes end up in the silk. One possibility is that the carbon coats the outside of the strands, but Pugno thinks that would not be enough to account for the increase in strength. Instead, he believes the spiders mop up materials in their environment and incorporate them into the silk as they spin. This comes at a cost, however – four of the spiders died soon after being sprayed.
At this early stage it's not clear how such a material will be used, but one possibility is a giant net capable of catching falling aircraft, suggests Pugno. The team also plans to investigate other ways of producing bionic materials, such as dosing silkworms with artificial substances. "This concept could become a way to obtain materials with superior characteristics," he says.
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Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
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What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]