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Int J Biol Macromol. 1999 Mar-Apr;24(2-3):81-8.

Biology of spider silk.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark. vollrath@biology.au.dk

Abstract

Studies are beginning to show that spider silk can be highly variable in chemical composition and mechanical properties. Clearly, both external and internal conditions affect silk production and thus the mechanical properties of the finished thread. An argument can be made that silk is optimised for a wide range of conditions rather than maximised for strength or toughness. Moreover, it seems that the spider is able to induce rapid and temporary adaptations of silk properties.

PMID:
10342751
DOI:
10.1016/s0141-8130(98)00076-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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