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2012 News in Brief



Researchers synthesize a new kind of silk fiber

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image of silk fiber structure Pound for pound, spider silk is one of the strongest materials known: Research by CEE’s Markus Buehler has helped explain that this strength arises from silk’s unusual hierarchical arrangement of protein building blocks. Now Buehler — together with David Kaplan of Tufts University and Joyce Wong of Boston University — has synthesized new variants on silk’s natural structure, and found a method for making further improvements in the synthetic material. The work stems from a collaboration of civil and environmental engineers, mathematicians, biomedical engineers and musical composers. The results are reported in a paper published in the journal Nano Today. Read a news story on MIT News.