Mutant bacteria trained to make bulletproof spider silk

A group of scientists from the University of Washington in St. Louis, led by Fuzhong Zhang, managed to obtain ultra-strong spider silk using genetically modified bacteria.

Spider silk is much stronger than steel, but, unfortunately, spiders produce it in negligible volumes, and an attempt to organize "mass production" by a large number of insects leads to the fact that they begin ... to eat each other.

Scientists have found a solution to the problem with the help of genetic engineering. To do this, they divided the spider genome into fragments, and then inserted them into bacteria.

Thanks to the new technology, from one liter of genetically modified bacteria it is possible to obtain up to two grams of artificial spider webs, which are in no way inferior in strength to natural ones. According to scientists, the result, although modest, is quite encouraging compared to other attempts at mass production of silk.

NASA has already said that if the research is successfully completed, it is likely to take the new material into service to use as a means of repair in space missions.