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UPPSALA, SWEDEN (FEBRUARY 14, 2017) (REUTERS) JAR WITH SILK AND SILK SPINNING APPARATUS SILK IN JAR RESEARCHERS ANNA RISING, JANNE JOHANSSON AND MARLENE ANDERSSON PREPARE TO SPIN SILK APPARATUS USED FOR SILK SPINNING RESEARCHERS PREPARING TO SPIN SILK VARIOUS OF CHEMICALS AND EQUIPMENT ANDERSSON PREPARING THE APPARATUS AND CHEMICALS (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCHER ANNA RISING, SAYING: "We realised that nobody actually knows how the spider spins its silk, so Marlene, she set out to determine how the spider spins its silk. What she did was she dissected glands, silk glands from the spiders, and then she used ion-selective micro-electrodes - these are really tiny electrodes - that she used to determine the conditions along the glands. So we could see what changed along the glands and what factors trigger the polymerization process." VARIOUS OF ANDERSSON PREPARING THE APPARATUS AND CHEMICALS (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCHER MARLENE ANDERSSON, SAYING: "We have a set-up where we have our highly-concentrated recombinant or artificial protein in a syringe that we pump through tubing and then through a narrowing glass capillary - so, a very small glass tube. And then we pump the protein into a low PH solution, so an acidic solution. And then the fibres form instantaneously as the protein hits the low PH buffer." SILK FORMING IN BEAKER (SOUNDBITE (English) RESEARCHER MARLENE ANDERSSON, SAYING: "If you scale this up, I think it could be a cost-effective solution, the way that we spin, since we don't need any expensive chemicals to spin the protein." SILK FORMING IN BEAKER (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCHER JANNE JOHANSSON, SAYING: "It could be used as scaffolds for growing cells and tissues to implant in human bodies to replace and restore malfunctioning tissues in organs, which is called regenerative medicine." SILK FORMING IN BEAKER ANDERSSON GETTING FRAME OUT OF DRAWER ANDERSSON WINDS SILK AROUND PLASTIC FRAME CLOSE OF SILK (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESEARCHER JANNE JOHANSSON, SAYING: "They're not as strong as the native stuff, but it's possible so I think we and maybe some other researchers can now develop it into something which really can mimic spider silk in the future." VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF CENTRE FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE AND ANIMAL SCIENCE OXFORD, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GOLDEN ORB WEAVER SPIDER, NEPHILA, ON WEB
Dateline: 2017

Scientists Spin Artificial Spider Silk

Item ID: 110575757

By: Reuters

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