December 9, 2011

Tags: silk, protein structure, music, Giesa, Spivak, Buehler

Silk was one of the first fibrous proteins to be investigated in the early 20th century. Spider silk's exceptional properties have long inspired researchers from fields ranging from mechanical engineering to biotech. Now three MIT researchers from the Departments of Mathematics and Civil and Environmental Engineering have used a new concept called ontology logs, from the category theory branch of mathematics, to examine the relationship between spider silk's structure and function.

The really different aspect of this research? They conducted their examination by comparing spider silk and classical music. And they present their findings as a demonstration of a new way of gaining insight into various structures built on smaller and smaller substructures. Read more at MITnews.

The original paper, by Tristan Giesa, David I. Spivak, and Markus J. Buehler, is published in BioNanoScience.


"...a compelling introduction to evolution in action through the lens of spiders and their silks."

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