Name: Walter Kim
I am part of a science group participating in a contest.
We are interested in the properties of spider silk and its superior strength
to a comparable length of steel. Any information you have regarding this
subject would be welcome. Other questions I have include: how is the silk
created? How can it be reproduced? Is there any history on this subject?
Are there any books on this? I would appreciate a reply as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time.
I wish I could give you a better reference than this one that just
happens to be in my home library: "Spiders and Their Kin" by Levi,
Levi, and Zim, one of the "golden guides" to science and nature
meant primarily for kids. From page 13: "Chemically silk is a fibrous
protein (fibrin), insoluble in water. It comes from spigots of the
spinnerets in liquid form and hardens immediately, polymerizing as it
is pulled out. Silk may stretch as much as one-fourth its length
before breaking, and the silk of _Nephila_ is the strongest natural
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Update: June 2012