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Liquid crystalline spinning of spider silk
Successful copying of the spider's internal processing and precise control over protein folding, combined with knowledge of the gene sequences of its spinning dopes, could permit industrial production of silk-based fibres with unique properties under benign conditions.
Sexual dimorphism and distorted sex ratios in spiders
This work presents a new model in which high mortality of searching mature males reduces the adult sex ratio (males: females), relaxing male–male competition and reducing the importance of male body size to favour dwarfing by early maturation provides a mechanism that buffers skews inAdult sex ratio.
Movements and corridors of African elephants in relation to protected areas
It is concluded that understanding the complex use of an animal’s range is crucial for conservation planning aiming to balance animal interests with those of human beings that co-habit in their range.
Design Variability in Web Geometry of an Orb-Weaving Spider
Windy conditions during web construction caused spiders to build smaller and rounder webs, laying down fewer capture spirals while increasing the distances between capture-spiral meshes, and silk supply had a strong effect.
Modulation of the mechanical properties of spider silk by coating with water
THE orb web of the garden cross spider Araneus diadetnatus is made up of two types of thread with distinctive mechanical properties: stiff radial threads which sag when contracted by only 10%, and
Spider silk protein refolding is controlled by changing pH.
A quantitative map of the pH value and position correlated with molecular structural folding in the silk gland characterizing the crucial role that pH plays in spider silk formation is provided.
Thread biomechanics in the two orb-weaving spiders Araneus diadematus(Araneae, Araneidae)and Uloborus walckenaerius(Araneae, Uloboridae)
The tensions of radial threads in webs of the garden cross spider, Araneus diadematus, are measured to find no systematic difference between the average pretensions of individual radius threads in these two halves, however, pretension in the upper half of the web showed greater variation.
The molecular structure of spider dragline silk: Folding and orientation of the protein backbone
Two-dimensional solid-state NMR data indicate that all domains in dragline silk have a preferred secondary structure and are strongly oriented, with the chains predominantly parallel to the fiber.
Variability in the mechanical properties of spider silks on three levels: interspecific, intraspecific and intraindividual.
The mechanical characteristics of dragline silks collected from a range of spiders drawn from the Argiopidae, Tetragnathidae, Theridiidae and Pisauridae displayed significant inter- and intraspecific differences, suggesting differences in basic silk properties.
Biology of spider silk.
  • F. Vollrath
  • Medicine
    International journal of biological…
  • 1 March 1999
It seems that the spider is able to induce rapid and temporary adaptations of silk properties, and an argument can be made that silk is optimised for a wide range of conditions rather than maximised for strength or toughness.