Spider silk as a high-performance material
If you’re one of the nation’s experts on spiders and the properties of their silk, you best not have a hint of arachnophobia. Fortunately for us, UC Riverside’s evolutionary biologist Cheryl Hayashi does not have this problem.
Spiders actually produce more than one kind of silk. For example, a spider uses a different type of silk to capture prey vs. building a web. Hayashi’s research focuses on this process and how it could be used in place of materials such as nylon fiber or kevlar.
You can listen to her TED Talk about spiders and how their silk can be utilized for human use.