Scientists just created a new "super wood" that’s stronger than steel

May 10, 2018 by  
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Spider silk has long held the record for being the strongest biomaterial on Earth — but that just changed. Scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology used wood nanofibers to create a new biomaterial that is even stronger than spider silk. Researchers “densified” wood to turn an already sturdy material into a “super wood” that is as strong as steel. To accomplish this, researchers aligned tiny cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) in the same direction to create tightly-packed little bundles. These bundles form a material that is super strong and could be used in everything from cars and planes to furniture. “This discovery is made possible by understanding and controlling the key fundamental parameters essential for perfect nanostructuring, such as particle size, interactions, alignment, diffusion, network formation and assembly,” said study co-author Daniel Söderberg. Related: Body armor could be made from genetically engineered spider silk “The bio-based nanocellulose fibers fabricated here are eight times stiffer and have strengths higher than natural dragline spider silk fibers, generally considered to be the strongest bio-based material,” Söderberg said. “The specific strength is exceeding that of metals, alloys, ceramics and E-glass fibers.” The study was published this week in the journal ACS NANO . + KTH Royal Institute of Technology Via New Atlas Image via KTH and Deposit Photos

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Scientists just created a new "super wood" that’s stronger than steel

‘World’s deepest plastic bag’ found in the Mariana Trench

May 10, 2018 by  
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Plastic pollution is a scourge upon the planet – and it turns out that it’s reached the deepest ocean trench on the earth. While studying man-made debris in the deep sea, scientists recently discovered a large number of single-use plastic products near the ocean floor – including a plastic bag in the Mariana Trench , almost 36,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface. Plastics are now showing up in the very deepest, most remote parts of our planet. This plastic bag was found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, nearly 11km under water. It's time to #BreakFreeFromPlastics . Retweet if you agree. https://t.co/18RZyUIA4K pic.twitter.com/95Rts4vDyg — Greenpeace East Asia (@GreenpeaceEAsia) May 10, 2018 The bag, which The Telegraph referred to as the “world’s deepest plastic bag,” was one of 3,425 pieces of man-made debris from the past 30 years that scientists recorded in the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)’s Deep-sea Debris Database . Launched for public use last year, the database includes photographs and images of trash obtained by remotely-operated vehicles and deep-sea submersibles. While the bag’s discovery came to light in an April article for Marine Policy , JAMSTEC’s video of the debris lists the dive date as 1998. JAMSTEC led the team that wrote the article, which included researchers from the United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Center and Marine Works Japan . Related: “Extraordinary” levels of pollution found in deepest parts of the ocean The scientists said over 33 percent of the debris “was macro-plastic, of which 89 percent was single-use products, and these ratios increased to 52 percent and 92 percent, respectively, in areas deeper than 6,000 meters.” They spotted deep-sea organisms in 17 percent of the images of plastic debris, “which include entanglement of plastic bags on chemosynthetic cold seep communities.” Rubber, metal, glass, cloth, and fishing gear were among the other debris found. The scientists also sounded the alarm on plastic pollution’s threat to deep-sea ecosystems, pointing to a statistic estimating that almost 80 percent of global plastic waste generated from 1950 to 2015 remains in landfills or the environment , and has not been burned or recycled . According to the research team, “Minimizing the production of plastic waste and its flow into the coastal areas and ocean is the only fundamental solution to the problem of deep-sea plastic pollution.” You can check out a video of the Mariana Trench plastic on the JAMSTEC website . + Marine Policy Via The Telegraph Image via Depositphotos

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‘World’s deepest plastic bag’ found in the Mariana Trench

Best Made Co. unveils hat made with synthetic spider silk

December 11, 2017 by  
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Following its release in March of the world’s first commercially available product made from manmade spider silk—a a line of snazzy neckties —California’s Bolt Threads is ready for its encore. Developed with Best Made Co. , an outdoor-lifestyle brand that the technology firm unexpectedly acquired in August, the limited-edition Microsilk Cap of Courage marries Wyoming-milled Rambouillet wool with Bolt Threads’ signature yeast-derived bioengineered silk. Despite the eye-watering price of $198, a limited-edition run of 100 hats sold out in a matter of hours on Thursday. Spider silk is one of Earth’s most valued textiles: It’s five times stronger than steel and thrice as tough as nylon or Kevlar, yet only a fraction of the width of human hair. Because spiders are territorial and cannibalistic, however, farming the fiber in significant quantities has been next to impossible. Related: First spider-silk garment to hit the market is this necktie from Bolt Threads Enter Bolt Threads. Through its proprietary technology, which leverages proteins derived from yeast to replicate spider silk’s famous tensile strength and pliability, the company has been able to “tune” its Microsilk to deliver any combination of softness, strength, and durability. The fibers are even machine-washable, which gives them a leg up on their traditional counterparts. Bolt Threads is going places, too. It recently teamed up with British designer Stella McCartney to create a couple of garments, including a gold dress for the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition, Items: Is Fashion Modern? . There’s been the promise of more to come, along with forthcoming collaborations with brands like Patagonia , though details are hush-hush for now. There might even be another hat drop in the future. Keep your eyes—and heads—peeled. + Microsilk Cap of Courage $198 + Best Made Co. + Bolt Threads

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Adidas reveals biodegradable shoes made out of artificial spider silk

November 26, 2016 by  
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Adidas is killing it lately: 3D-printed shoes , shoes made out of recycled ocean plastic , shoes made almost entirely by robots … Now the iconic sneaker company is revealing a biodegradable sneaker made out of artificial spider silk. The shoe features an upper made from a completely biodegradable filament made from the same proteins that make spider silk so tough, yet pliable.

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Adidas reveals biodegradable shoes made out of artificial spider silk

Body armor could be made from genetically engineered spider silk

July 17, 2016 by  
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Body armor is essential for protecting soldiers, but it’s also heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable to wear. Research and development into genetically engineered spider silk , however, could revolutionize the future of the protective gear. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Michigan-based Kraig Biocraft Laboratories with a $100,000 grant to study the potential of “Dragon Silk,” a form of spider silk spun by genetically engineered silkworms.

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Body armor could be made from genetically engineered spider silk

Researchers are making super-strong spider silk for regenerative medicine

March 20, 2015 by  
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A team of researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid  believe they can create regenerative medicine from super-strong spider silk . The team are using a procedure used to fabricate the form of silk that was used two centuries ago in Murcia . The silk, which is currently being developed at the  Center for Biomedical Technology (CTB) , is the strongest ever developed and is known as hijuela de araña, which roughly translates to “little daughter of the spider.” Read the rest of Researchers are making super-strong spider silk for regenerative medicine Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: genetically modified insects , madrid , regenerative medicine , Spain , spider , spider silk , super strong silk , universidad politecnia de madrid

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Researchers are making super-strong spider silk for regenerative medicine

107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant

November 4, 2014 by  
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If you’re afraid of spiders, avert your eyes – a nightmare straight out of Arachnophobia was just discovered in Baltimore’s Wastewater Treatment Plant . Researchers found spiderwebs covering 95% of the building’s interior – which spans a whopping four acres – and the plant is estimated to be the home of 107 million spiders! Read the rest of 107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arachnophobia , Baltimore Wastewater Treatment PLant , eco design , green design , spider infestation , spider silk , sustainable design

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107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant

How Scientists Generate Electricity from a Silk Moth Cocoon

August 27, 2014 by  
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Did you know that the cocoon membranes of a silk moth contain trace amounts of several elements such as sodium, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium and copper, as well as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen? Well, that’s not even the most amazing part of this story. Scientists in India have discovered a way to harvest these elements and make electricity from them using water. A new study published in Scientific Reports suggests that silk moth cocoons can be used to generate clean electricity to power electronics and possibly provide a source of power in the iron ore industry and nuclear power plants. Read the rest of How Scientists Generate Electricity from a Silk Moth Cocoon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminum electrode , battery , capacitor , cocoon membranes , copper electrode , defense research development organization , eden steven , electric current , electricity from silk moth cocoons , electrochemistry , florida state university , India , james s. brooks , moist silk cocoon , scientific reports , sericin , silk moth , silk moth cocoon , silk textile production waste , spider silk , sushil kumar singh , wetting cocoon

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Ford and Hyundai Are Both Working on Prius-Killing Hybrid Cars

August 27, 2014 by  
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The internet is abuzz with news that Ford and Hyundai are currently working on new dedicated hybrid models that will compete with the top-selling Toyota Prius . Both Ford and Hyundai currently offer hybrid models, but none of them have been designed as hybrids from the ground like the Toyota Prius. Read the rest of Ford and Hyundai Are Both Working on Prius-Killing Hybrid Cars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electric car , electric motor , ford , Ford C-MAX , ford hybrid , green transportation , hybrid car , HYUNDAI , Hyundai Blue-Will Concept , Hyundai hybrid , Toyota , toyota prius

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Ford and Hyundai Are Both Working on Prius-Killing Hybrid Cars

Andrew Cheng Unveils Beech Side Tables Inspired By Chopsticks

August 27, 2014 by  
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San Francisco-based industrial designer Andrew Cheng designed Chopsticks, a series of side tables with simple and slight profiles. Inspired by the two-toned lacquer used on chopsticks to differentiate ownership, the slim table legs are split into two color blocks. Steel rods are inserted into the table legs to strengthen the structure in a process similar to pencil making. The Chopsticks series will launch at Tent London during the London Design Festival. + Andrew Cheng The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andrew Cheng , chopsticks , chopsticks-inspired furniture , lacquer , London Design Festival , pencil making , reader submitted content , TENT London

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Andrew Cheng Unveils Beech Side Tables Inspired By Chopsticks

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