Why haven’t we figured out how spiders make the web-stuff? Isn’t our analytical chemistry advanced enough to detect the ingredients it takes to make spiderwebs?

Spiderwebs are basically made of alanine and glycine. And while we could make it in the lab it would take quite a long time since it’s pretty long chains (up to 300 amino acids according to the link below) - it takes weeks or months to receive a 20 amino acid peptide that I’ll order from a company. Here’s some more info:


and from here:

So yes we know the structure, but no we don’t currently have the capability to mass produce it without using the ultimate chemist - a spider.

I guess the key was to use spider silk instead of spider web for Google.

Thanks for the info, very interesting.


Look, he’s crawling up my wall
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly

– Boris the Spider, The Who


I could have sworn they were genetically engineering goats to produce spider silk in their lactic secretions.

Cool stuff Zenster. I hope I don’t come home some day to find a goat hanging from my ceiling. :slight_smile:

Bahhhh … Eeeeeek!!!