Silk is not sourced from a plant. It is produced by the domesticated silk moth. Another silk with strength greater than steel is made by spiders. Many kinds of spiders can do the special trick. There are plenty to study.
If we could just imitate the strong silk, ultra-tough cables and ropes could be created. Better sutures for wounds, lightweight clothing and lighter suitcase would also be possible. It would be a revolution. Even solid panels could be on the cards.
Spiders cannot be used in mass production. They make a little bit of silk in a large area. Not only that, but spiders tend to eat each other. There are reasons why lab creation of "spider" silk has not been achieved. The DNA of the strong stuff has not been fully identified. Furthermore, properties are determined by the environment. The way spiders spin cannot be duplicated. It is complex.
We need to develop a virtual robotized clone of a spider for mass production. Not something that is on the short-term horizon.
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A STRONG NET
A STRONG NET
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