Subscribe

Science How genetically engineered caterpillars spin silk stronger than steel

A research team has genetically altered silkworms to spin spider silk proteins, resulting in a fiber that is stronger than steel that can also be mass produced.

Biswaranjan Rout/AP

Think of it as softness blended with strength: One research team has genetically engineered a silkworm that spins cocoons composed of about 95 percent silkworm proteins and 5 percent spider silk proteins. The composite silk is significantly stronger than regular silkworm silk and, researchers hope, as easy to produce in large quantities as regular silk. 

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK