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Creation 27(3):9, June 2005

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Hot spider silk

photo by Pat Eckersley16002-spider

Spider silk is the strongest fibre in the world, a hundred times stronger than steel. (It even eclipses Kevlar, the material from which bulletproof vests are made—see God’s webspinners give chemists free lessons, Creation 23(2):20–21, 2001.) It is also very stretchy.

Now researchers have found that spider silk is also heat resistant to a surprising degree. They tested silk strands of the large orb-weaving spider Nephila edulis from -60–150°C (-76–302°F). From the icy cold to very hot, the strands could still stretch by at least 20% before breaking. They did weaken above 150°C, but didn’t disintegrate till 370°C (700°F).

So it seems that spider silk would make excellent material for stitching nerves and tendons, especially as it can be heat-sterilized first.

  • New Scientist, 22 January 2005, p. 16.

Could such a material—able to withstand such temperature extremes—have come about by chance? Not likely, as Romans 1:20 makes clear.