Spider Silk: An Extraordinary Biomaterial
Known for its incredible strength and elasticity, possible human uses for spider silk currently range from the manufacturing of bulletproof vests, to the suturing of wounds, to the fabricating of elegant ball gowns, and on. But, how and why do spiders create and use this fascinating material in the natural world? And how can we possibly harvest tons of silk from spiders to use in the mass production of goods? To gain insight into these topics, come on out to the next Science under the Stars! (Caution: For those who are not arachnid-inclined, this talk will contain many images and video clips of spiders. Given that, we encourage anyone who is afraid of spiders to come learn more about these awesome creatures; perhaps we can convince you that they are, in fact, not so scary, and sometimes even adorable!).
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 7:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
Nature has produced forms most beautiful and, in turn, humans have managed to mimic these forms. In the emerging field of biomimetics, human engineers find inspiration within natural structures, such as the wings of a bird or the complex surface of a cell.