Differences between Spider Silk and Cocoon Silk

Chemistry, Technology
[caption id="attachment_17656" align="alignright" width="440"] The Madagascar golden orb spider silk cape. Image CCA-SA 3.0 Unported by Cmglee[/caption] Spider silk and cocoon silk... What, if any, are the differences between these two materials? Spider Silk: An Overview Spider silk is a derivative of the structural protein fibroin, which consists largely of alanine (ALA) and glycine (GLY) amino acid sub-units. These two acids constitute about 67% of the total. Serine and other amino acids make up the remainder. There is a variety of forms of spider silk. Different specific glands are responsible for the different forms of silk. Most notable among silk varieties are dragline silk and capture silk. How do these two varieties compare? Dragline Silk Dragline silk is strong, but possesses a measurable degree of flexibility and extensibility. This variety…
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Eastern Tent Caterpillar Dissertation

animals, Biology
[caption id="attachment_14132" align="alignright" width="480"] Eastern Tent Caterpillar Nest by J.R. Carmichael[/caption] I have long known of two true pests that not only damage trees, but destroy their beauty. While the fall webworm is one of these pests, what I would like to do now is to interview the other. He is an eastern tent caterpillar. He and his family are, at the moment, engaged in their dirty work. The Interview Vince: It’s the middle of April, and I see you’re already pretty good-sized and busy at work. How do you start out? TC: Well, not many people know it, but our tiny egg pouches can be found laid along the branches where our nests will appear. A great example of an egg pouch is seen in this Michigan State University…
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