Researchers have better unraveled the complex process of how black widow spiders transform proteins into steel-strength fibers. This knowledge promises to aid scientists in creating equally strong synthetic materials. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, the research team was able to more closely see inside the protein gland where the silk fibers originate, revealing a more complex, hierarchical protein assembly. The researchers' 'modified micelles theory' concludes that spider silk proteins start out as complex, compound micelles.
Researchers have discovered that exposing people with phobias to their fear -- for examples, spiders for those who have arachnophobia -- at the exact time their heart beats, led to the phobia reducing in severity.