Monday, 7 December 2015

Spinning a Yarn


A company in California (Bolt Threads) has been using genetic modification of yeast to 'grow' spider silk in vats from simple ingredients such as sugar (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/06/the-innovators-californian-scientists-bolt-threads-reinventing-the-web). This light but strong ('tougher than steel') material has long been prized as a potential item for use in commerce. The generated goo can apparently be converted into threads that might well end up being utilised in clothing. How this would fit with aspects of our current 'throw away' fashion society is yet to be determined (mountains of indestructible but out-dated clothes?) but some stuff you might want to wear for decades. As was pointed out in the article, however, a spider make at least 5 different types of threads with varied properties, meaning that the commercial applications might be quite wide.

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Pat Bateson

I have just noted the obituary of Sir Patrick Bateson 1938-2017 ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/14/sir-patrick-bateson-ob...