Scientists have discovered a previously unknown property of spider silk, and used it to create a remarkable new “hybrid” material. The new bio-inspired thread, which acts like both a solid and a liquid, could lead to a host of new materials and technologies.
Not all spider silk is created equal. Some spiders spin webs of wet, sticky silk. Others like the Uloborus spider have fluffy webs made of nanoscale filaments. But those fluffy webs are just as good at catching prey, likely thanks to their electrostatic charge.