Silk of the Spider, Thread of the Future
Spider silk is nothing short of an engineering marvel. Weight for weight, it's stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar. But spiders are disagreeable creatures. Unlike the silkworms, they've proven unwilling to bow to humanity's domestication, but that hasn't stopped scientists from stealing the secrets. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, enter a world of spider silk medicine, nanomaterials, optics, music and of course transgenic goats.
Image Caption: A small spider sends out gossamer strands of silk as it attempts to parachute into the wind from its perch on an electric fence along a country road near Roseburg. The behavior called ''ballooning'' is used by small spiders to fly on the wind. (© Robin Loznak)
How Spiders Work (HSW Article)
What's the world's deadliest spider? (HSW Article)
Golden Orb Spider Silk Cape by Godley & Peers (Design Boom)