Current Spider silk News and Events

Current Spider silk News and Events, Spider silk News Articles.
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Taking a shine to polymers: Fluorescent molecule betrays the breakdown of polymer materials
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have come up with a simple method to evaluate the strength and performance of polymer materials. They present their innovation in the latest issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition, and hope that their work will enable scientists and engineers to better evaluate the polymers they work with, and eventually synthesize better ones. (2020-11-24)

Slow-living animal species could be disease 'reservoirs'
Animals that live slowly - breeding less rapidly and living longer - could be ''reservoirs'' of diseases that could jump to new species including humans, new research suggests. (2020-11-09)

Environmental factors affect the distribution of Iberian spiders
Southern small-leaved oak forests are the habitats with a higher level of spider endemism in the Iberian Peninsula, according to an article published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. The study analyses the factors that affect biodiversity patterns of spider communities in the national park network of Spain, and explains the role of the environmental factors in the distribution of the biodiversity of this faunistic group in the peninsular territory. (2020-11-09)

Bronze Age travel routes revealed using pioneering research method
Archaeologists from the University of Sydney have reconstructed the ancient seasonal migration routes of Bronze Age herders in Xinjiang, north-western China. Published in the high-ranking journal PLOS ONE, their research was the result of innovative methodology. To determine snow cover and vegetation cycles, crucial to the survival of Bronze Age people and their flocks, they examined both satellite imagery and archaeological evidence, as well as interviewing modern-day herders. (2020-11-04)

Silk road contains genomic resources for improving apples
The fabled Silk Road is responsible for one of our favorite and most valuable fruits: the domesticated apple. Researchers have now assembled complete reference genomes and pan-genomes for apple and its two main wild progenitors, providing detailed genetic insights into apple domestication and important fruit traits that could help plant breeders improve the crop's flavor, texture, and resistance to stress and disease. (2020-11-02)

Printing plastic webs to protect the cellphone screens of the future
Follow the unbreakable bouncing phone! A Polytechnique Montréal team recently demonstrated that a fabric designed using additive manufacturing absorbs up to 96% of impact energy -- all without breaking. Cell Reports Physical Science journal recently published an article with details about this innovation, which paves the way for the creation of unbreakable plastic coverings. (2020-11-02)

These spiders can hear
Ogre-faced spiders hide during the day and hunt by night, dangling from palm fronds and casting nets on insects. Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on October 29 have discovered that they can hear their predators and prey, using specialized receptors to pick up sounds from at least 2 meters away. The results suggest that spiders can hear low frequency sounds from insect prey as well as higher frequency sounds from bird predators. (2020-10-29)

Buzz kill: Ogre-faced spiders 'hear' airborne prey with their legs
In the dark of night, ogre-faced spiders with dominating big eyes dangle from a silk frame to cast a web and capture their ground prey. But these spiders also can capture insects flying behind them with precision, and Cornell University scientists have now confirmed how. (2020-10-29)

Like humans, aging wild chimpanzees value their more "positive" friendships most
Like humans, wild chimpanzees focus on fewer yet more meaningful friendships as they grow older, say researchers who studied male chimps over two decades. (2020-10-22)

Innovation spins spider web architecture into 3D imaging technology
Purdue University innovators are taking cues from nature to develop 3D photodetectors for biomedical imaging. The Purdue researchers used some architectural features from spider webs to develop the technology. (2020-10-21)

Tapping secrets of Aussie spider's unique silk
The basket-web spider, which is found only in Australia, has revealed it not only weaves a unique lobster pot web but that its silk has elasticity and a gluing substance, that creates a high degree of robustness. (2020-10-19)

Diamond-studded silk wound dressing detects infection and improves healing
Scientists have developed a next generation wound dressing that can detect infection and improve healing in burns, skin grafts and chronic wounds. (2020-10-13)

Central Asian horse riders played ball games 3,000 years ago
UZH researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China. According to the international research team, they are around 3,000 years old, making them the oldest balls in Eurasia. The find suggests amongst others that the mounted warriors of Central Asia played ball games to keep themselves fit. (2020-10-12)

Silk fibers improve bioink for 3D-printed artificial tissues and organs
Researchers from Osaka University processed silk fibers into a versatile component of bioink for 3D cell printing technology. Printed objects retain their shape better than those produced without the silk additive, and the cells are not further damaged. This development will help advance regenerative medicine and drug discovery, and potentially reinvigorate the silk industry. (2020-10-08)

A new species of Darwin wasp from Mexico named in observance of the 2020 quarantine period
Scientists at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Mexico recently discovered five new species of parasitoid wasps in Mexico, but the name of one of them is quite striking: covida. Described in a new paper, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal ZooKeys, the new to science Darwin wasp was identified during the 2020 global quarantine period, imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-10-08)

ESO telescope spots galaxies trapped in the web of a supermassive black hole
With the help of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have found six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole when the Universe was less than a billion years old. This is the first time such a close grouping has been seen so soon after the Big Bang and the finding helps us better understand how supermassive black holes formed and grew so quickly. It supports the theory that black holes can grow rapidly within large structures which contain plenty of gas to fuel them. (2020-10-01)

Danish King got enshrined in his own clothes, appeared with his brothers' when examined
Scientific analysis solve puzzle about the age and destiny of precious silk textiles from AD 1100. (2020-10-01)

Silk offers homemade solution for COVID-19 prevention
A University of Cincinnati biology study found that silk fabric performs similarly to surgical masks when used in conjunction with respirators but has the added advantages of being washable and repelling water, which would translate to helping to keep a person safer from the airborne virus. (2020-09-22)

Giant spider provides promise of pain relief for irritable bowel syndrome
Molecules from the venom of one of the world's largest spiders could help University of Queensland-led researchers tailor pain blockers for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (2020-09-20)

A new species of spider
During a research stay in the highlands of Colombia conducted as part of her doctorate, Charlotte Hopfe, PhD student at the University of Bayreuth, has discovered and zoologically described a new species of spider. (2020-09-16)

Velcro-like food sensor detects spoilage and contamination
MIT engineers have designed a Velcro-like food sensor, made from an array of silk microneedles, that pierces through plastic packaging to sample food for signs of spoilage and bacterial contamination. (2020-09-09)

Notice me! Neglected for over a century, Black sea spider crab re-described
Even though recognised in the Mediterranean Sea, the Macropodia czernjawskii spider crab was ignored by scientists (even by its namesake, 19th-century biologist Vladimir Czernyavsky) in the regional faunal accounts of the Black Sea for more than a century. Now, scientists re-describe this, most likely, sole species of the genus to occur in the Black Sea. The finding was published in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution. (2020-09-01)

Preventing infection, facilitating healing: New biomaterials from spider silk
New biomaterials developed at the University of Bayreuth eliminate risk of infection and facilitate healing processes. These nanostructured materials are based on spider silk proteins. They prevent colonization by bacteria and fungi, but at the same time proactively assist in the regeneration of human tissue. They are therefore ideal for implants, wound dressings, prostheses, contact lenses, and other everyday aids. (2020-08-28)

Mixing silk with polymers could lead to better biomedical implants
Spun by spiders and silkworms, silk has mystified human engineers who have yet to figure out how to artificially recreate it. But by combining silk with synthetic compounds, researchers are getting closer to developing new implantable composite materials with the best properties of both. Potential applications include structures that hold bone in place or replacements for cartilage. The researchers present their results today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. (2020-08-17)

Flies and mosquitoes beware, here comes the slingshot spider
Running into an unseen spiderweb in the woods can be scary enough, but what if you had to worry about a spiderweb - and the spider - being catapulted at you? That's what happens to insects in the Amazon rain forests of Peru, where a tiny slingshot spider launches a web - and itself - to catch unsuspecting flies and mosquitoes. (2020-08-17)

Spider silk inspires new class of functional synthetic polymers
Synthetic polymers have changed the world around us. However, It is hard to finely tune some of their properties, such as the ability to transport ions. To overcome this problem, assistant professor Giuseppe Portale decided to take inspiration from nature and created a new class of polymers based on protein-like materials that work as proton conductors and might be useful in future bio-electronic devices. (2020-08-12)

Silk scaffolds and magnetism to generate bone tissue and be able to use it in implants
Researchers from the UPV/EHU, BCMaterials and various centres in Portugal have shown that the combination of biocompatible scaffolds formed from silk components, and stimulation of cells by means of magnetism is valid for generating bone tissue. The scaffolds, which are used to support cell growth, were loaded with magnetic nanoparticles so that magnetism could be used. The results achieved are spurring the group on to continue with this line of research. (2020-08-05)

Hydrogel paves way for biomedical breakthrough
Dubbed the ''invisibility cloak'', engineers at the University of Sydney have developed a hydrogel that allows implants and transplants to better and more safetly interact with surrounding tissue. (2020-08-03)

Spider monkey groups as collective computers
New research shows that spider monkeys use collective computation to figure out the best way to find food. (2020-07-21)

The Azores: Exotic insect species increase on islands through human impact
A new study reveals that the diversity of exotic species of insects, spiders and other arthropods in the Azores is increasing. This pattern has also been observed in other islands around the world, which can contribute to aggravate the current biodiversity crisis. The study also point to a slight decrease in the abundance of endemic species in the archipelago - species that are not found anywhere else on the planet. (2020-07-20)

Care for cats? So did people along the Silk Road more than 1,000 years ago
Common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago. This is indicated by new analyses done on an almost complete cat skeleton found during an excavation along the former Silk Road in southern Kazakhstan. An international research team has reconstructed the cat's life, revealing astonishing insights into the relationship between humans and pets at the time. The study will appear in 'Scientific Reports'. (2020-07-09)

Spider silk made by photosynthetic bacteria
A research team in Japan reported that they succeeded in producing the spider silk -- ultra-lightweight, though, biodegradable and biocompatible material -- using photosynthetic bacteria. This study will open a new era in which bio-factories stably output the bulk of spider silk. (2020-07-08)

Researchers from University of Turku have described over 40 new species in 2020
The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character. (2020-07-01)

Spider silk can create lenses useful for biological imaging
Spider silk is useful for a variety of biomedical applications: It exhibits mechanical properties superior to synthetic fibers for tissue engineering, and it is not toxic or harmful to living cells. One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses for biological imaging applications. Researchers describe the feasibility of creating lenses capitalizing on the properties of natural spider silk material in the Journal of Applied Physics. (2020-06-30)

Spider baby boom in a warmer Arctic
Climate change leads to longer growing seasons in the Arctic. A new study, which has just been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that predators like wolf spiders respond to the changing conditions and have been able to produce two clutches of offspring during the short Arctic summer. The greater number of spiders may influence the food chains in Greenland. (2020-06-25)

New antivirals for influenza and Zika
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus. (2020-06-09)

Lizard legacy sheds new light on web of life
Austral Ecology published 12 new studies this month that together represent a vast progression in knowledge on species like Australia's endangered pygmy bluetongue and iconic sleepy lizard, and share new insights on the roles of parasites, bacteria, environmental change, chemical communication and more - to lizards ecology and ecosystems broadly. (2020-06-09)

New smart fabrics from bioactive inks monitor body and environment by changing color
Researchers developed biomaterial-based inks that respond to and quantify chemicals released from the body or in the environment by changing color. Multiple inks can be screen printed onto clothes or even face masks at high resolution, providing a detailed map of human response or exposure (2020-06-05)

A tiny arctic shrub reveals secrets of plant growth on Svalbard
It's not easy being a tiny willow on the wind-and snow-blasted islands of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard. It turns out that Salix polaris, the polar willow, handles these tough conditions by growing as best it can in response to July temperatures -- a response that researchers recorded all over the archipelago. (2020-06-05)

First ancient cultivated rice discovered in Central Asia
Rice has always been one of the most important food in Asia and the world. The spread of rice agriculture is an important part during the early crop globalization process. Recently, researchers have first discovered the carbonized rice remain in Central Asia archaeological sites, providing a new evidence to explain how rice further spreads westward, the local ethnic dietary systems and dietary culture transformation and the early civilization exchange on Eurasia continent. (2020-05-21)

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