Spider silk

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The synthetic strands of spider silk are very strong and tough although it does not have the same tenacity of spider-made dragline silks, used by spiders in their web frames and safety lines.

Research led by Canadian company Nexia Biotechnologie has coaxed mammalian cells into producing spinnable proteins by equipping them with spider silk genes. After harvesting the proteins, the scientists spun them from a water-based solution into fine, silken threads. Nexia hopes to produce large quantities of the recombinant spider silk, trade-named BioSteel,R using goats engineered to produce the spider silk proteins in their milk.

This has been a popular area for research. Examples of application are the construction of bullet-proof vests and body armours.