Hayashi: It actually surpasses a lot of the common man-made materials in certain mechanical attributes. It's stronger than high tensile steel and has a toughness that is greater than Kevlar.
Narrator: Hayashi explains that unlike the domesticated silk worm, it's not possible to simply mass rear spiders to produce spider silk, since they're predatory creatures.
Hayashi: So, if I were to start my spider culture in a room and I put a thousand in there, I wouldn't end up with very many after a few days! So by studying the natural spider genes out there, we can use nature as a model for how we can design our synthetic spider silks.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.