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Materials & Assembly
Video: Fish Slime Makes Tough, Silk-Like Fiber
12/27/2012

Researchers have discovered that the defensive slime exuded by hagfish may be a source of high-performance protein fibers that could replace petrochemical-based polymers, such as nylon and plastic fibers, and fabrics woven from them.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Peter Southwood)
Researchers have discovered that the defensive slime exuded by hagfish may be a source of high-performance protein fibers that could replace petrochemical-based polymers, such as nylon and plastic fibers, and fabrics woven from them.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons/Peter Southwood)

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NadineJ
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needs marketing
NadineJ   12/27/2012 1:14:04 PM
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I like this development but it needs to be renamed before it hits the public.

Slime fish silk isn't appealing.  I don't see any benefit yet.  If it can be as strong as spider silk in the future, that would be great.  It's too early to have an opinion or comment.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: needs marketing
Cabe Atwell   12/27/2012 3:37:36 PM
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I am surprised that no one can artificially reproduce spider silk. I suppose nature wins again. 

Time to start harvesting from the world's largest spider web.

Lake Tawakoni State Park, n. Wills Point, Hunt Co., Texas

C

 

 


 

Greg M. Jung
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Self-Assembling Fibers
Greg M. Jung   12/27/2012 9:54:40 PM
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The video of the self-asembing fibers was eye-opening and looked promising.  I like the fact that this product could potentially displace some petro-chemical based polymers.

William K.
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Re: Self-Assembling Fibers
William K.   12/28/2012 9:26:50 AM
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This could indeed be a valuable discovery, although it appears that quite a bit of process development will be needed. Possibly the best part may be the independence from petro-chemical feedstock requirements, although we were not told just what the feedstock does come from.

There should be quite a range of applications for the final product, though.

As for the name, why not call then "armor-fish", which has a much better ring to it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Self-Assembling Fibers
Ann R. Thryft   12/28/2012 12:07:34 PM
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I couldn't agree with you more, Nadine, about the name "fish slime". It's pretty gross. William, for industrial production levels the proteins would eventually be created by bacteria, as stated in the article. The current work is figuring out the best process for creating them to ensure sufficient strength and stiffness.

William K.
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Re: Self-Assembling Fibers
William K.   12/28/2012 4:20:45 PM
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Ann, my point is that the bacteria need to feed on someting and the specific needs will dwtermine exactly what that feedstock winds up being. As with most discoveries, the moving from a laboratory operation into a production environment is the bigger part of the task. Sometimes the adaptation to production winds up being the show-stopper.

Scott Orlosky
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Selling the Slime
Scott Orlosky   12/30/2012 5:41:13 PM
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I love this kind of stuff.  The diversity of life is amazing.  Maybe "Fishilk" or "Pescafiber" would make it more palatable for consumers?

NadineJ
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Re: Selling the Slime
NadineJ   12/30/2012 8:49:02 PM
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Fishilk is a good start!  But, is it vegan friendly?  That is a fast growing market today.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Selling the Slime
Ann R. Thryft   1/3/2013 8:11:57 PM
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Scott, I like those names!



Charles Murray
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Re: Selling the Slime
Charles Murray   1/17/2013 6:31:04 PM
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Great story, Ann. The beauty of Design News is that we can cover virtually any technology story, including fish slime.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Selling the Slime
Ann R. Thryft   1/18/2013 11:42:31 AM
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Chuck, do I detect a slight sense of irony in your comment? In any case, I agree--I've been amazed at the variety of sources, in nature and elsewhere, for potential materials.

Mydesign
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Interesting
Mydesign   1/2/2013 4:49:35 AM
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1 saves
Ann, very interesting and a different topic. I think such topics apart from the normal one will be a great interest for most of our community members.

Elizabeth M
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Impressive work
Elizabeth M   1/2/2013 5:54:03 AM
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A fascinating article, Ann. It never fails to impress me the lengths researchers will go as well as the creativity they use to find sources in nature for new materials and energy sources. It also shows just what an impressive force nature is and how complex it can be for humans to try to recreate natural materials, even with great ingenuity.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive work
Ann R. Thryft   1/2/2013 12:08:29 PM
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I agree Elizabeth--I'm continually impressed at the resources, and the variety of same, available in nature for materials and construction techniques.

iodf98239fwe
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Iron
printing flyers
iodf98239fwe   6/1/2014 2:50:37 AM
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