Silkworms That Eat Graphene Spin Webbing As Strong As Spideys

first_img Spider Silk Could Be Used to Make Artificial MusclesSilkworms Engineered to Produce Spider Silk Stay on target Humans have been using silk to make fabrics for more than six thousands years. It’s already one of the strongest fibers around, but researchers have made it even stronger — and electrically conductive.A Chinese research team at Tsinghua University has discovered that by feeding silkworms a rather unique diet that the silk they produced can be transformed into something straight out of Peter Parker’s lab. It’s more than 50% stronger than ordinary silk, which is pretty impressive given that some silks have a tensile strength as high as 650MPa. That puts the team’s super silk right up there with materials like tungsten and steel.And when it’s heated to 1050°C, the carbonized silk becomes an excellent conductor of electricity. So what, exactly, do you feed a silkworm to get it to produce this miraculous new fiber? The same things you use to improve everything from lithium-ion batteries to solar cells.Graphene and carbon nanotubes. They tricked the silkworms into eating by spraying a coating onto the delicious mulberry leaves they love, sort of how parents hide the peas to get their kids to eat vegetables.Led by Dr. Yingying Zhang, the team believes that their super-silk has loads of potential applications. Among them: biomedical implants, smart fabrics, and highly-efficient indoor solar cells.There’s also plenty of confidence that the production process can be scaled up rather easily… provided that someone else can produce enough graphene and carbon nanotubes for the silkworms to eat. It doesn’t take much, though. Amazingly, the spray only contains .2% of the stuff by weight.Image courtesy Wikimedia Commonslast_img read more

10 Best Gifts for Harry Potter Fans

first_imgMore than a decade has passed since J.K. Rowling wrapped up the Harry Potter series, but fans worldwide continue to celebrate the Wizarding World in books, films, and culture.With the holidays around the corner, it’s a great time to surprise your favorite Potterhead with the most magical gift. From Hogwarts House dinnerware to spellbinding remotes, these Harry Potter-themed gifts will wow all the Muggles on your list.Harry Potter Remote Control WandHarry Potter Remote Control Wand (Photo Credit: Amazon)We can’t do magic spells, but this Harry Potter Remote Control Wand comes close enough. Just swish and flick to turn on electronic devices with infrared remote control, like your Blu-ray player, stereo, or TV. You can program up to nine gestures to switch channels, adjust the volume, and more right from your couch.Buy it HereHarry Potter Horcrux Bookmark SetHarry Potter Horcrux Bookmark Set (Photo Credit: ThinkGeek)Hold the favorite part of your novel (or soul) with these Harry Potter Horcrux Bookmarks. The set includes a bookmark for Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Tom Riddle’s diary, Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, Lord Voldemort’s snake Nagini, and a lightning bolt.Buy it HereHarry Potter Wizard Chess SetHarry Potter Wizard Chess Set (Photo Credit: Amazon)Have the ultimate duel with this Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set. It’s replicated like the one in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone book, and comes with 32 chess pieces, a playing board, and storage pouches for hours of competitive play.Buy it HereHarry Potter The Knight Bus Lego SetHarry Potter The Knight Bus Lego Set (Photo Credit: Amazon)What’s better than a transit bus? The Knight Bus of course. You can build the magical vehicle with this Harry Potter Knight Bus Lego Set, which comes complete with Hedwig, a shrunken head, Stan Shunpike, Ernie Prang, and Harry Potter mini figures. Just remember to hold on tight.Buy it HereHogwarts Alumni Unisex T-ShirtHarry Potter Hogwarts Alumni T-Shirt (Photo Credit: Amazon)Hogwarts graduates rejoice: we’ve found the perfect swag for your post-spell school days. This Harry Potter Hogwarts Alumni T-Shirt features the Hogwarts crest and four houses. Wear this to brunch, gym, and basically anywhere to show off your wizarding school spirit.Buy it HereHarry Potter Hand-Controlled CandleHarry Potter Hand-Controlled Candle (Photo Credit: ThinkGeek)Lumos! Give your home much-needed light with this Harry Potter Hand-Controlled Candle. All you have to do is wave your hand over the candle to illuminate a room. Plus, you’ll get lighting in the Hogwarts House colors on three brightness settings.Buy it HereWorld of Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit GameHarry Potter Trivial Pursuit Game (Photo Credit: Amazon)Have the ultimate game night with this Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit Game. Get your squad together and test your knowledge of all the Harry Potter movies. With 1,800 questions spanning The Dark Arts and Magical People, you’ll be mastering all things wizardry in no time.Buy it HereHarry Potter Uniform ClutchHarry Potter Uniform Clutch (Photo Credit: ThinkGeek)Wear your favorite Hogwarts House with a Harry Potter Uniform Clutch. Whether you’re a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, this accessory can fit all your essentials, including keys, a wallet, credit cards, and a smartphone.Buy it HereFunko 5 Star: Harry Potter Vinyl FigureFunko 5-Star: Harry Potter Vinyl Figure (Photo Credit: Amazon)If you’re a fan of collectibles, this Funko 5-Star Harry Potter Vinyl Figure makes the cut. You can display these cute Harry Potter and Hedwig figures with your other spellbinding goods at home.Buy it HereHarry Potter Hogwarts House Dinner SetHarry Potter Hogwarts House Dinner Set (Photo Credit: ThinkGeek)Have a banquet-style feast at your pad with this Harry Potter Hogwarts House Dinner Set. It comes with four place settings featuring the Hogwarts Houses, so you’ll have more than enough dishes for your hungry Muggle crew.Buy it HereMore at Teases 2019 Launch of AR Game ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’11 ‘Harry Potter’ Characters Who Deserve Their Own MovieToy Tuesday: The Most Magical Harry Potter Toys Apollo 11 Gift Guide: Best Moon Landing 50th Anniversary GiftsCool Gifts for Every ‘Star Wars’ Junkie Stay on targetlast_img read more