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The Sweet Sounds of Spider Silk

A researcher spins spider silk into violin strings.

By | March 7, 2012

STEVE SNODGRASS, FLICKR

It’s Mozart meets Peter Parker. In a surprising new application, a Japanese researcher uses thousands of strands of spider silk to weave strings for a violin.

Shigeyoshi Osaki of Nara Medical University in Japan obtained “dragline” silk, the silk from which spiders hang, from 300 female Nephila maculata spiders. He then bundled together 3,000 to 5,000 individual strands of the silk, and twisted three of the bundles together, to create strings.

Under an electron microscope, each string appeared to be perfectly round due to the fact that the strands are pressed snugly together, leaving no space between them. That snug fit probably gives the strings their strength—they are stronger than traditional aluminum-coated, nylon-core strings, BBC News reported—as well as their unique tone, said Osaki. The strings make “a soft and profound timbre,” according to a description of the violin, soon to be published in Physical Review Letters.

"The violin strings are a novel practical use for spider silk as a kind of high value-added product, and offer a distinctive type of timbre for both violin players and music lovers worldwide,” Osaki told the BBC.

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Comments

Avatar of: agelbert

agelbert

Posts: 50

March 7, 2012

Considering there are several thousand (or more) spiders per square mile in most types of terrain excluding desert, this sounds like an excellent, sustainable and humane animal product since you want the spiders to be healthy and well fed for maximum silk production. I realize that many spiders don't produce any appreciable amount of silk but many of them do.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 7, 2012

Considering there are several thousand (or more) spiders per square mile in most types of terrain excluding desert, this sounds like an excellent, sustainable and humane animal product since you want the spiders to be healthy and well fed for maximum silk production. I realize that many spiders don't produce any appreciable amount of silk but many of them do.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 9, 2012

Wonderful!

Sydney Morning Herald announce us that  Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, was
covered by spider silk.

Maybe this spider action was wireless
induced by Shigeyoshi Osaki creation!
 

Avatar of: alexandru

alexandru

Posts: 1457

March 9, 2012

Wonderful!

Sydney Morning Herald announce us that  Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, was
covered by spider silk.

Maybe this spider action was wireless
induced by Shigeyoshi Osaki creation!
 

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