Skip to comments.Spider Silk Could Repair Human Ligaments
Posted on 10/13/2006 4:20:31 PM PDT by flevit
Spider web silk, the strongest natural fiber known, could possess untapped medical potential in artificial tendons or for regenerating ligaments, scientists now say.
A body of folklore dating back at least 2,000 years tells of the potential medical value of spider webs in fighting infections, stemming bleeding and healing wounds, explained molecular biologist Randolph Lewis at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Spider webs have even found a place in Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream," where the character dubbed Bottom noted, "Good Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you."
While research has found no evidence so far that spider webs can kill germs, Lewis explained, studies on animals have revealed that spider silk triggers little if any immune responses, which cause rejection of medical implants.
So his lab and others are spinning spider silks into fibers that they hope might be useful in medicine.
Lewis said researchers at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., have found that spider webs could be used as scaffolds for regenerating ligaments damaged in one of the world's most common knee injuriesruptured anterior cruciate ligaments, or ACLs. "We're also looking at spider silk in artificial tendons," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
great ...now I dont have to bother stretching out!
Of course, this research cannot be continued without a grant of taxpayer money. My spidey sense is tingling... my wallet is getting lighter...
The treatment doesn't involve.....live spiders.........does it?
Spiders and their webs are fascinating. About a month ago, my son and I were chasing butterflies for his collection and of course in the early fall the spiders have webs everywhere since all the bugs are moving at that time. We kept coming upon webs with live grasshoppers in them. The spiders would crawl up and within no more than 30 seconds the grasshopper would be encased in web. Amazing, the speed and the volume of web coming out of one spider.
Actually it's not the webs that bother me, it's those eight long skinny furry legs and front mandibles. And the scurrying. Actually, it's the webs, too.
Catches thieves, just like flies!
The only problem with the webs is when you walk through them and they're clinging to your face and you know that somewhere on your head is a BIG FRICKIN' SPIDER!
Seriously, though, most of the webs you walk through are made by harmless spiders.
I have long believed that if genetic engineering could fix it so that our digestive systems churned out silk instead of ordinary s***, we would all be much better off. Better bridges, better clothes, and more quilting bees; more stupendous bungee jumpers, too, and Le Petomane would be a parachutist instead of a musician.
It would smell better too, if I'm not mistaken.
And all it takes is the tweaking of an itty bitty string of DNA. What are we waiting for?
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