Tech Peek | Synthetic Silk

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Should we have called Superman the man of silk? Technically, yes. A synthetic silk fiber called Biosteel is five times stronger than steel and three times tougher than Kevlar. Instead of cultivating silk worms or spiders (creepy), a German company called AMSilk has learned how to modify e. coli bacteria to yield biopolymers with amazing properties. Applications include active sports apparel, footwear, automotive interiors, furniture, technical and medical textiles and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Wait. That last one was Superman. But seriously: a web made from bio-silk fibers could catch a fully loaded cargo carrier jet, and that’s a super achievement.

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