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Scientists believe that the evidence of the amino acid glycine found around 67P/Chryumov-Gerasimenko may suggest comets emit life-giving agents, backing up previous studies that had made this assertion. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft was able to detect several protein ingredients around 67P, including glycine, marking the first time that the amino acid was found

“We know that life started on Earth about four billion years ago, but the fundamental question is … why four billion years ago?,” said study co-author Vladimir Airapetian in an interview with Mashable. Could life have started one billion years ago, two billion years ago, (or) three billion years ago? Is there anything special about

The importance of New Horizons’ Kuiper Belt explorations cannot be understated. Pluto is, after all, technically located in the area, where a number of KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) are located. And since we know precious little about the region, any explorations New Horizons make going forward are potentially groundbreaking. And, according to the mission’s principal

Although SpaceX was able to successfully stick the landing earlier this month, when its Falcon 9 rocket was able to make it back and land on a drone ship, the company’s CEO Elon Musk suggests that the rocket had sustained a great deal of damage in the tricky, delicate process. As such, the rocket won’t

For the first time in the space agency’s history, part of the NASA patent database is now available to third-party companies and other interested parties, with a small percentage of its patents recently launched for public use. Only a few of NASA’s many patents were release, as the agency hand-picked 56 patents to be considered

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Scientists figure out ersatz spider silk mystery with new tech

Scientists have finally come up with a way to create synthetic spider silk without having to deal with any trade-offs. And while it is definitely not the real thing, the new form of silk does accurately mimic the material’s properties, after numerous efforts in the past to successfully recreate the silk and ensure it remains in good, taut condition after stretching. And it could have a wide range of applications in different industries, if and when the technology makes it past the testing stage.

silkworm

Researchers from Oxford University and the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie came up with the technology, and detailed it in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this week. According to the researchers, there are small drops of “watery glue” that coat spider silk, preventing it from becoming too saggy or stretchy, and ensuring it remains as tight as possible. That allowed the scientists to recreate how spiders do it, and create their own form of ersatz silk with plastic filaments coated in drops of oil.

“The thousands of tiny droplets of glue that cover the capture spiral of the spider’s orb web do much more than make the silk sticky and catch the fly,’ said Oxford Silk Group professor Fritz Vollrath, speaking to the Daily Mail in an interview. “Surprisingly, each drop packs enough punch in its watery skins to reel in loose bits of thread.”

For added insight into the scientists’ techniques, this video shows the entire “liquid wire” process in greater detail.

“Our bio-inspired hybrid threads could be manufactured from virtually any components,” read a statement from lead author Dr. Herve Elettro, who believes the synthetic material could be used in various industries, including medicine and engineering. “These new insights could lead to a wide range of applications, such as microfabrication of complex structures, reversible micro-motors, or self-tensioned stretchable systems.”

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Scientists believe that the evidence of the amino acid glycine found around 67P/Chryumov-Gerasimenko may suggest comets emit life-giving agents, backing up previous studies that had made this assertion. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft was able to detect several protein ingredients around 67P, including glycine, marking the first time that the amino acid was found

“We know that life started on Earth about four billion years ago, but the fundamental question is … why four billion years ago?,” said study co-author Vladimir Airapetian in an interview with Mashable. Could life have started one billion years ago, two billion years ago, (or) three billion years ago? Is there anything special about

The importance of New Horizons’ Kuiper Belt explorations cannot be understated. Pluto is, after all, technically located in the area, where a number of KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) are located. And since we know precious little about the region, any explorations New Horizons make going forward are potentially groundbreaking. And, according to the mission’s principal

Although SpaceX was able to successfully stick the landing earlier this month, when its Falcon 9 rocket was able to make it back and land on a drone ship, the company’s CEO Elon Musk suggests that the rocket had sustained a great deal of damage in the tricky, delicate process. As such, the rocket won’t

For the first time in the space agency’s history, part of the NASA patent database is now available to third-party companies and other interested parties, with a small percentage of its patents recently launched for public use. Only a few of NASA’s many patents were release, as the agency hand-picked 56 patents to be considered