How is a brown recluse spider like a Samurai swordsmith?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
(Funded by the National Science Foundation)

Scientists at the College of William & Mary’s Department of Applied Science have discovered that the brown recluse spider’s silk, which is stronger than steel, is made up entirely of nanofibrils— strands that are 3,000 times thinner in diameter than a human hair—that are laid in parallel, not twisted like strands of a rope. The scientists have also discovered that the brown recluse spider adds to the strength of the silk by spinning little loops into each strand.