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Skeptically Speaking Spider Silk Podcast…

…is now available here. It was great fun talking with host Desiree Schell. The episode begins with an interesting conversation with Ed Yong about recent research resulting in hybrid spider-silkworm silk.
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Spinnerets

Walter Piorkowski has some amazing--and surprisingly beautiful--photomicrographic images of spider spinnerets at Photomacrography.net here and here and here. Walt, if you happen to see this, please let us know what species you were looking at and anything else you would like us to know--I'm not having much luck trying to contact you. Thanks for this unusual look at the external features of the silk system. Read More 
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Spider Silk on Skeptically Speaking

I'll be interviewed tomorrow night, Sunday January 8th, 6PM Mountain Time, on Skeptically Speaking. Please click on the link for details and instructions on how to submit questions. Should be fun!
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Silkworms and Spider Genes

If you don't already follow Ed Yong's great Not Exactly Rocket Science, you've been missing some of the best science blogging around. Check out his latest post, on research involving the insertion of spider silk genes into the genome of silkworms. These silkworms produced silk that's an improvement (in human terms; silkworm silk works just fine for silkworms) over normal silkworm silk, but not really up to spider dragline silk standards. There are all sorts of possible reasons for this result; I give some of them in the comments section below the post.  Read More 
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