Silkworms eat nanotubes, spin super-silk


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/10/silkworms-eat-nanotubes-spin.html


#2

When do we get bullet-proof kimonos?


#3

Just what we need, carbon fiber reinforced caterpillar poop. :poop:


#4

The logical next step is bioengineered giant caterpillars weaving the foundations of the space elevator.


#5

You’d want to start in orbit, simultaneously growing it outward and down. Also it stands to reason you could have larger caterpillars in outer space, right? So that should speed things up.


#6

Don’t you dare try this with spiders! Nope, nope, nope…


#7

Have you learned nothing from viewing the historical archives?


#8

I wonder how many people refuse to wear leather but are fine with silk…


#9

There is not enough ‘Like’ in the entire interweb to adequately express my admiration for your response.


#10

One of those things requires the original owner to be dead.

edit: I like where they are going with this sort of research. I think we need to explore more. I wonder if cows will eat cocoa beans.


#11

How do you think silk is made? It’s not by gently caressing the worms bellies to cause silk production. They are boiled alive.


#12

Hmm, you’re right. I did do a quick search prior to posting to try to make sure I thought I understood where silk came from and got the impression it was gathered from empty cocoons. I guess not.


#13

Maybe we can both be right? :slight_smile:

Silk production on an industrial scale pretty much means killing silkworms. It is possible to harvest silk without killing the worms, but it’s much more involved (and expensive!) with considerably lower yields.

Leather, well, there’s pretty much no getting around killing the animal there (unless we’re talking about Naugahyde, which is cruelty-free to the Naugas).


#14

And just how carcinogenic are these nano-silks? (because of the whole nano size particulate matter as a carcinogen problem) I’m guessing that a silkwork doesn’t live long enough to get cancer, but a nano-kimono owner sure may…


#15

Don’t worry dude. They eat the silk worm larvae.


#16

Actually spiderweb silk is way stronger - but more difficult to wrangle. So they gene spliced the spider web silk glands into a breed of goats hoping it would be economic to extract the spider web silk from goat’s milk. Nobody thought about feeding those mangy fockers carbon fibre!! Just feed them lumps of coal dammit, they’ll eat anything. Maybe you’ll get nannytubes from the females milk and some indestructable black goatshit from the billy’s. Why, it could become more economically important than duck tape.


#17

. . a fact widely disseminated by the Human League


#18

Science missed a prime opportunity to create Spider Pig.


#19

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