Friday, October 14, 2005

Suuuper cool materials discovery

This is better than gene tailored goats making spider silk in their milk.  Check it out:

Now Australian scientists have achieved a world first by copying resilin, the "rubber" insects employ to accomplish such athletic feats.

Future versions of the material could be used to make resilient spare parts, including spinal discs and artificial arteries.

Chris Elvin, from CSIRO Livestock Industries in Brisbane, spent four years reproducing nature's "near perfect rubber". Dr Elvin said yesterday: "Nature had a couple of hundred million years of evolution do it. All insects have it. It gives them almost frictionless movement.

Can you say "artificial heart"?  How about "replacement aorta" or "heart valve"?  This is some awesome shit kids.  Really awesome.

The Phantom


Candace said...

cool - does that mean that Spiderman might become a reality???

On a serious note, how would that effect things like spinal chord injuries? (I'm too lazy to register & read it myself)

The Phantom said...

Nothing for spinal cord, but the guy is thinking about replacement spinal disks. At the moment all that can be done for disk injuries is a fusion, where they pretty much take the disk out and screw the two vertebrae together.

At the moment there is no known material that can take the pounding a spinal disk takes, but this new rubber stuff could probably do it.

Hell, he may be able to grow disks eventually. Its a bioprotein, after all. Just need to program the bugs right and give them a scaffold to spin the stuff on. Kinda like coral.