The brown recluse has long been known for its venomous bite, but scientists are now looking at it’s incredible silk for inspiration for the future. Using a novel micro looping technique, brown recluse spiders are able to make their silk stronger than any other spiders’. Scientists believe that can apply the same technique the brown recluse uses to make its silk to making stronger synthetic materials, particularly in the interest of space travel. One major possibility is that this new technique of weaving together strands could inspire scientific developments such as help to improve impact-absorbing structures used in space travel in particular, as well as in our everyday lives.
The research team studying the technique of the brown recluse have noticed that instead of producing round ribbons of thread like most spiders, the brown recluse produces silk that is thin and flat. It is this key structural difference that adds greatly to the silk’s strength. The thin, flat structure is flexible enough to withstand knots created during spinning that add strength to the structure of their webs. The thin structure instead of round allows the spider to create many micro-loops along the structure, adding strength to the individual strand without taking up more space like a knot on a round thread would do. Needless to say, this could lead to much stronger fabrics begin created. Say goodbye to clothes ever being destroyed by tears or frays again!
What other kinds of possible benefits could using this new spider spinning technique bring to the world? What kinds of inventions, new kinds of clothes, etc.?