Press Esc to close

Silk worms bring Spider Man's web closer to reality

London, Jan 4, PTI 23:05 IST
The Spider Man web, which helps him snare bad guys and swing among the city's skyscrapers, is closer to reality, say scientists who have created genetically modified silkworms which can spin much stronger silk.

A team at the University of Wyoming says that its eventual aim is to produce silk from worms that has the toughness of spider silk. In fact, in weight-for-weight terms, spider silk is stronger than steel.Researchers worldwide have been trying to reproduce such silk for decades. But it is unfeasible to "farm" spiders for the commercial production of their silk because the arachnids don't produce enough of it.

Silk worms, however, are easy to farm and produce vast amounts of silk -- but the material is fragile.So, 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.

Now, the 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 it says is just as tough as spider silk, the PNAS journal reported.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Greenpeace demonstrators in all-over bodysuits protest against pollution...

Greenpeace demonstrators in all-over bodysuits protest against pollution...

A Marathi mother-daughter duo during a procession to commemorate Shivaji Jayanti...

A Marathi mother-daughter duo during a procession to commemorate Shivaji Jayanti...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the saints during the...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the saints during the...

Raphael Manet checks the growth of radish seedlings as he works at the...

Raphael Manet checks the growth of radish seedlings as he works at the...

Director and screenwriter Emily Atef and actors Marie Baumer, Birgit Minichmayr...

Director and screenwriter Emily Atef and actors Marie Baumer, Birgit Minichmayr...

Devotees celebrate ahead of Holi festival in Raman Reti near Mathura...

Devotees celebrate ahead of Holi festival in Raman Reti near Mathura...

Bronze medalist in the women's 4 x 5km relay cross-country skiing the team from Russia...

Bronze medalist in the women's 4 x 5km relay cross-country skiing the team from Russia...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hadrien, 3, feeds an elephant during...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hadrien, 3, feeds an elephant during...

Bollywood actress and dancer Smilie Suri during the Pole Dance practice...

Bollywood actress and dancer Smilie Suri during the Pole Dance practice...

A child plays with soap bubbles at the Surajkund Mela in...

A child plays with soap bubbles at the Surajkund Mela in...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.