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posted by martyb on Thursday August 17 2017, @07:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the carbon-ated-spiders dept.

Spider silk can be made stronger by feeding the spiders that produce the silk aqueous dispersions containing graphene or carbon nanotubes:

[Researchers] in Italy and the UK have found a way to make [spider] silk a lot stronger, using various different spider species and carbon nanotubes or graphene. The research team, led by Professor Nicola Pugno at the University of Trento, Italy, succeeded in having their spiders produce silk with up to three times the strength and ten times the toughness of the regular material.

[...] "We already know that there are biominerals present in in the protein matrices and hard tissues of insects, which gives them high strength and hardness in their jaws, mandibles and teeth, for example. So our study looked at whether spider silk's properties could be 'enhanced' by artificially incorporating various different nanomaterials into the silk's biological protein structures."

To do this, the team exposed three different spider species to water dispersions containing carbon nanotubes or graphene. After collecting the spiders' silk, the team tested its tensile strength and toughness. Professor Pugno said: "We found that the strongest silk the spiders spun had a fracture strength up to 5.4 gigapascals (GPa), and a toughness modulus up to 1,570 joules per gram (J/g). Normal spider silk, by comparison, has a fracture strength of around 1.5 GPa and a toughness modulus of around 150 J/g.

Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes (DOI: 10.1088/2053-1583/aa7cd3) (DX)

Related: The Strongest Natural Material: Sea Snail Teeth
Synthetic Spider Silk Fiber Created


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17 2017, @09:32AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17 2017, @09:32AM (#555198)

    That is really where the issue lies.

    Violence against white males has been done for comedic and non-comedic effect in movies and other media for at least 20 years I can remember.

    At the same time it has marginalized blacks, especially males by having them die first in 'mostly white' movies, and it has body shamed anybody who wasn't buff, 'geek chic' (once that became a popular thing in MSM), or 'hot 'n sexy', outside of a few very narrow exceptions (ellen, oprah, rosie o'donnell, etc. All of whom have basically turned themselves into tools of the 'left wing' establishment, in the same way rush, that infowars guy, megan kelly, and that fox guy, etc have turned themselves into tools of the rightwing media establishment.)

    What people on both the left and right have failed to realize is they have let media's social cues infect them on what is acceptable in the REAL world, not just the fantasy worlds they watch. Just like our parents told us 20-50 years ago (depending on your age) about why they had to limit your television watching, the content of shows, and explain to you why certain events in shows shouldn't be replicated in real life. The problem is: lots of parents just dumped their kids in front of tvs, didn't have those talks, and thought just because they seemed ok the majority of the time that those shows, events etc hadn't affected them. But as the media has spiraled further and further to the left and right, it has become obvious that the boundaries of moral and social acceptability and responsibility have slid far outside whatever should have been culturally acceptable to a neutral third party. But as each echo chamber grew, so did what was acceptable. Things were once fringe or taboo are out in the open.

    If this sounds like one of those creepy teetoler(sp?) speeches, it kind of is. The reason we have cultural stigmas (like excessive drinking, drugs, etc.) isn't for reponsible adults who can handle their liquor, or drugs, or acceptable behavior. It is for the outliers, who without those societal boundaries will keep sliding further and further outside the boundaries of acceptability, broadening them as they do, into potentially harmful behavior both for themselves and the society they exist in. Figuring out where those boundaries should lie is part of both the art and science of shaping society. Sadly it is another lost art that must await a renaissance after these cultural dark ages pass, if they ever manage to. A big if given the technology we are developing, researching, and releasing today. Put in the hands of amoral sociopaths like mentioned above, it will only lead to harm for the development of society on this planet as a whole.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17 2017, @05:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17 2017, @05:25PM (#555445)

    Violence against white males has been done for comedic and non-comedic effect in movies and other media for at least 20 years I can remember.

    Really good point here! You notice the guy in "Ow, My Balls!" is always a white male? Coincidence? I think not!