Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spiderweb facts

New Scientist reports: [edited]

Ali Dhinojwala of the University of Akron in Ohio used microscopic probes to test beads of glue on an orb spider's web and found that elasticity was key. He calculates that the combination of sticky and stretchy makes the glue 100 times stronger than previously thought.

The glue was stickier when the probe was pulled away quickly, and more elastic when it was pulled slowly. The web is stickiest when prey slams into it. As the trapped prey struggles to escape, the glue becomes more elastic to absorb its slowed movements.


Can Opener Boy said...

If one google's "spider web caffeine" one finds interesting research showing how caffeine renders a spider's usually beautiful, ordered, and highly functional web utterly useless.

Your post today makes me wonder if it is more than the structure which changes, i.e. on caffeine, do the chemical properties of the glue change as well?


soraneko said...

Are you talking about the video with the spiders that are also put on different drugs? Or is there actual research which that video is a spoof of? :)