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Scientist modify spiders to create graphene-reinforced web

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... the resulting webs are roughly as strong as kevlar-49

PLEASE PLEASE don't let these spiders escape!

Mysterious osmosis lets spiders weave graphene-reinforced webs
An Italian research scientist has produced the strongest fibres ever measured simply by spraying spiders with carbon and graphene. Emiliano Lepore’s research [PDF] at the University of Trento has an almost Marvel-style simplicity that can only add to the current status of graphene as a font of endless wonders and industrial promise. But exploiting the apparently-simple osmosis may prove challenging.
Lepore ambiently sprayed 15 Pholcidae spiders with a solution containing carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes, first taking samples of the subjects’ webs as reference material. The post-spray webs the spiders produced match the tensile resilience of Kevlar 49.
Initially one might conclude that the ambient spray had contaminated the so-called ‘super webs’, but the team at Lepore’s laboratory found that reproducing this possibility in tests did not produce the same increase in tensile strength as the ingested-carbon webs.
Spiders’ dragline silk is already a marvel of nature in its unadulterated state, with a ductility that allows it to stretch to five times its natural length and a tensile strength comparable to high-grade alloy steel – all at a sixth of the density.
The cultivated carbon-webs have a fracture strength of 5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus approaching 2.1 GPa. Lenore’s team say in their research findings: “This is the highest toughness modulus for a fibre, surpassing synthetic polymeric high performance fibres (e.g. Kelvar49) and even the current toughest knotted fibers,”
The ease of the technique presents further possibilities for plant and animal-based adulteration with graphene substances, but there is a great deal more research to do to understand by what process the Pholcidae spiders have transmuted the ambient carbon and graphene into material that is bonded with their webs. Spider silk has long been of interest to research science, but the difficulties in harvesting it and the opacity of the biological processes that produce them have always sent science to analogous processes rather than direct exploitation. Some commenters on the research note that Lepore’s work could be further developed with the rather more amenable silk-worm.

I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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Why is it terrifying?


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Noted. I was wondering, because I know that I'm not going to understand women. I'll never understand how you can take boiling-hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the roots, and still be afraid of a spider.

:P :p :P


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I was thinking it would be like a super thin knife - There was an article about making carbon nanotube threads where if you could attach something to both ends you could slice a solid steal pipe with almost no force.. stretch it across the road and cars driving through would be sliced neatly in two. These are not as strong but still - if there was something attached to the ends so it could be handled you could slice off an arm with very little force..


I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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This is amazing! They might be able to actually use graphene this way to do a whole BUNCH of things. Graphene has so many possibilities, I can't wait to see how this can be used!


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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