Spider Webs | Jupiter@Nite | 9.22.10

Spider Webs | Jupiter@Nite | 9.22.10
Let’s cut to the chase here — spiders are creepy as hell!  And none of the Jupiter Team would likely be caught dead staring at enough pictures of them, to do research for a show about them.  BUT, their webs are another story.  Even though these silky tendrils are produced from the butts of our fearsome nemesis, we still find them fascinating.  Tonight we’ll discuss some of the amazing properties of spider webs in detail, as well as let you in on some scary genetic research currently being performed to produce it artificially for human use.

Show Feeds:

Tonight’s Show Notes & Download Below:

  • Darwin’s Bark Spider spins webs up to 3m in diameter.
  • This silk, if spun over a larger enough area, could stop a 747.  Woah.

World’s Largest Spider Web

  • Video of Texas Webs
  • These are one of the only known species of “social” spiders.
  • They build their webs together, to catch more prey, and are less territorial than normal spiders.

Extreme Microbe Drinks Dew on Spider Webs to Survive in Desert

  • Found to be living in a desert region that reaches 0% humidity at some points in the day.
  • Unknown how they got there.
  • Spider Webs collect dew better than any other biological surface, since it is waterproof.

Genetically Mutated Goats Produce Spider Silk Instead Of Milk

  • Humans have been seeking the means to produce spider silk for industrial purposes for years.  Have not found an efficient means to produce it.
  • Now, by genetically altering a goat, they are able to get it to produce a spider-silk-type protein in their milk.
  • Military hopes to produce items like bulletproof vests, and ballistic missile deflection grids.

Human Uses of Spider Silk

  • Used as the crosshairs in microscopes and optical instruments
  • Recently been used to help in mammalian neuronal regeneration. (regrowing brain tissue)


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