Spider-Silk Helps Researchers Build New Microscopic Lens

Whether you are a science buff or more of a humanities guy, it could be assumed that every adult knows what a microscope is, and what it is used for in most cases. Well, not too many people are familiar with the material that makes up spider silk, but the few that do believe that spider silk can be used to make microscopes even more effective.

Bangor and Oxford University, both located in Great Britain, are working on a new and improved microscope that is capable of adding two to three times the magnification of certain images. Although creating super strong lenses for microscopes is an understandably difficult task, two teams have joined forces to make the super scope come to life. One group studies spider silk and other engineers lenses. The lens engineers long thought it was impossible to magnify and image beyond two hundred nm for viewing, but thanks to the spider silk experts, an entirely new super-lens can be used from spider silk to create the strongest and most accurate microscope yet known to man. If this work turns out a success, researchers will be able to see objects that they had only dreamed of in the past, such as native germs and viruses.

These days spiders silk seems to have a variety of different applications, but does spider silk need to be harvested from live arachnids, or is it possible to synthesize a substance like spider silk, which experts know so little about?