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BBC video: Parasitoid wasp makes felt out of spider silk

 
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:37 pm    Post subject: BBC video: Parasitoid wasp makes felt out of spider silk Reply with quote

Some may find this interesting: BBC video: Parasitoid wasp makes felt out of spider silk.

A little background: Humans have been making felt for at least 2,000 years. Felt is a vitally-important textile--historically life-changing--with properties of strength, moisture-resistance, and heat retention--made by tangling proteins, most commonly wool hairs. Modern felt is also a huge industry; in a typical office, a dozen or more felt products are used, in chairs, ceilings, etc. The production of felt is a substantial portion of the textile industry, annually running in the billions of dollars US. For the first two known millennia of felt production, only two production processes were discovered. About a decade ago, a Canadian undergraduate invented a third process, in ways substantially better than its predecessors. I had the good fortune to review this individual's research for an international award (which she received), and in the process, became familiar with the history of felt production.

But it turns out that a parasitoid wasp has been making felt out of spider silk--likely anticipating humans by thousands or millions of years.

Cool! Very Happy

--Chris
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating stuff, thanks for posting.
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