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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: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday August 17 2017, @12:51PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday August 17 2017, @12:51PM (#555264) Journal

    I don't know why they'd go to the effort, here. There aren't huge crowds, many of whom are clamoring for white power. There are a couple, but we all know who they are.

    Your caution is justified, though. 70 years of Hollywood and the media have so distorted and mischaracterized and demonized white supremacists as cartoon cutouts who are only violent and blunt, that they miss the much more dangerous subtleties that can insinuate themselves and grow into a movement. Go watch a David Duke video. The guy is calm and reasonable. He has a point, and he makes it well. You find yourself agreeing with him, except for the warning in your heart.

    Or go watch Triumph of the Will, and learn that the Nazis were not the two-dimensional, Manichaean figures certain parties would like us to believe. They had a real world view and a real plan and they were able to seduce a nation of highly-educated and skilled people for a reason; in other words, they didn't mindlessly beat people into surrender, they cajoled and seduced and only used violence when they could make it look like self-defense.

    So that's the leading edge of white supremacy (or any supremacy, for that matter) that we have to turn back if we don't want to slide into the horrors that follow. That's what we have to defend against, and generations of indoctrination on the matter have left us nearly totally unequipped to recognize it and counter it.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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