Science Questions

Are spiders web edible?

Sun, 4th Nov 2007

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Sarah asked:

Are spiders web edible? As they're made of protein.


Spiders do eat their webs. Sometimes they eat them everyday to try and get back in some of the energy they've expended on it. Another interesting use of spider webs is that they've got quite a lot of a vitamin K in them which can help your blood to clot, and before the use of gauze, people used to put spider webs on wounds.
People are currently looking into what makes spider webs so strong, with hope to make this artificially, they would make great bullet-proof vests. They've found the proteins in them that makes them strong, called Spidroin 1 and 2, and you can produce these in the lab. But they have to use insect cells to grow it, because the insect cells do some chemical modification and insects are more closely related to spiders.
They're not at the point where you can scale it up to a bullet-proof vest yet, but its certainly interesting.


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