Latvian scientists creating artificial spiders' webs

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The Institute of Organic Synthesis has embarked on research that, if carried out successfully, will allow creating artificial spider's webs. In the case of success, the webs will be useful for creating transparent fabric and body armor, LNT channel reported on Saturday.

The research will last for three years, during which scientists will try finding out how a web is created from the 'protein cocktail' in the stomach of a spider.

A spider's web is one of the hardest materials, and one that is also very elastic. The structure of a spider's web has been perfected for millions of years of evolution and can stop an insect flying at full speed. The thread that makes up the basis of the spider's web is less wide than a human hair, but its tenacity on impact is greater than that of steel. 

However, scientists have no definitive answer how a spider's web is created, and so far humans have failed recreating the process of making one.

The Institute of Organic Synthesis will finance the project with its own reserves. Latvian scientists have the newest equipment that allows following the process of creating a protein in 3D. 

In Latvia, the funding for science makes up 0.6% of GDP, of which 0.06% is sponsored by the state, while the rest is supplied by money from EU funds.

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