Today’s Solutions: September 22, 2021

Spider silk is one of nature’s most amazing materials. It’s stronger than steel and more elastic than a rubber band and has dozens of potential applications from construction to medicine. For years, scientists have been trying to tap into the power of spider silk, but have struggled to produce mass quantities; It’s hard to farm spiders since they’re territorial and cannibalistic. However, while it may be impossible to farm spiders, it is possible to grow spider silk in labs. The process for doing so has already been patented, and one company is already selling its lab-grown spider silk as a replacement for traditional silk additives in cosmetics and as a coating for breast implants. Of course, these are rather niche items that have a smaller impact on the world, but the long-term goal is to ultimately replace materials like polyester that are made with petrochemicals and harm the environment.

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