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Spider Silk (Terra Futura)

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Spider silk was a material used by spiders in their webs. It was stronger than steel and kevlar. Spider silk was not as strong as carbon nanotubes, but it was more flexible and certainly not toxic.

Background

Conventional silk was made from the cocoons of silkworms, the larvae of Bombyx mori, the silkmoth. It was domesticated in China during the Neolithic. For many years, silk was traded along the Silk Road which went from China all the way to Europe. Silkworm silk was very common. However, when Japan invaded China, the silk supply was cut. This led to the creation of nylon and kevlar. During the early 21st century, a new natural silk started to take over: Spider Silk.

Description

Tech Level: 10

Spider silk was hard to get. Scientists decided to genetically modify other living things. They modified E. coli, goats, and even silkworms to produce spider silk. Silkworms were the most common. It took a few years before silkworms could produce spider silk as strong as that of the golden orb weaver. It took a decade before it was possible for silkworms to produce spider silk as strong as that of the Darwin's bark spider. This spider silk produced stronger clothes that did not rip at all. These experiments did not reproduce the stickiness of natural spider silk, but some people did complain of their clothes getting stuck on their bodies. Around this time, people started using nanotech fabrics in clothes. Therefore, spider silk would eventually become obsolete.

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