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Japanese scientists develop hybrid silk using spider genes
Saturday November 29, 2014 7:33 AM, EFE

Japanese scientists have developed through genetic engineering using genes from spiders and silkworms a super resistant silk which could be used for textiles as well as in the surgical field, media reported Friday.

Known as "Spider Silk", which is stronger and smoother than conventional silk, it has been developed by researchers at Shinshu University, the Asahi daily newspaper reported.

Masao Nakagaki from the Faculty of Textile Science and Technology was the first person, in 2007, to implant spider genes in silkworms, resulting in the production of silk which had some components of spider webs.

Several years of research has now led to the development of spider silk which has less than 20 percent of the components of spider webs.

Several prototypes of socks have also been manufactured using this new material.

It is expected that the hybrid silk would be used in the textile industry, and for manufacturing surgical threads and artificial blood vessels.

The university reached an agreement with the local government to commercially produced the hybrid silk.

Both institutions have decided to collaborate in areas of industrial development, training of personnel, academic research and use of facilities for commercial production of the silk, according to Asahi.

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