Spider silk could offer bullet proof skin grafts by 2015

Spider silk is five times stronger than steel but has always been tough to mass produce. Now scientists have cracked it and predict we could start seeing products made from it by 2015.

Scientists have already created a bulletproof human skin by genetically engineering it using spider silk DNA. Skin grafting body armour might not be as far off as we'd thought.

From bulletproof vests as thin as jumpers to organic computing parts, we could see a new way of building thanks to a recent breakthrough. Until now harvesting spider silk was near impossible as nature produces it in such small amounts. Big companies aiming to mass produce it have given up, but a small group of 22 scientists have now managed it.

The group at AMSilk have managed to genetically engineer E. coli samples that express silk protein derived from the DNA of the European garden cross spider. Over the past month they have been producing liquid spider silk for shampoos to create super silky hair. But fibre production is just around the corner.

Managing director of AMSilk Axel H. Leimer says he is targeting sales of over $100 million once fibre production is underway from around 2015.

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