Spidersilk wins again!

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Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/1 ... _ref=false

Bulletproof (I suppose 'bullet resistant') human skin created from spidersilk. I just want to say I called this shit years ago.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Adam Preston » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:01 pm UTC

wow, some cutting edge stuff, it would sure help many important and influential people feel a bit more safe if their message is threatening to some people, specifically people holding a barret 50cal couple of hundred meters away.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:41 am UTC

Adam Preston wrote:wow, some cutting edge stuff, it would sure help many important and influential people feel a bit more safe if their message is threatening to some people, specifically people holding a barret 50cal couple of hundred meters away.


More like people holding a 10/22 a hundred meters away...

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

Yeah, spider silk is not going to stop a .50 cal round.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby idobox » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

It still increases your chances of survival.
At the cost of having your whole skin replaced, which will probably look horrible, and make you loose most, if not all sensation.

Bulletproof politicians, gangsters and ninjas are not exactly for tomorrow. But it's still cool.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

idobox wrote:It still increases your chances of survival.


Not this stuff. They had to handload a .22lr with less powder in order to get no penetration. The least powerful round you can easily purchase is too powerful to be stopped by this spider skin. It more bulletproof than skin, sure, but not to any practical level. I'm sure they'll have it stopping full power pistol rounds eventually, though. Even then I'm not sure how much it would help.

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:10 pm UTC

A .50 BMG round around 100 times the energy of a .22 LR fired at normal muzzle velocity, and the skin in question couldn't even stop that.

I seriously doubt there are many situations in reality where a lethal .50 caliber shot is close enough to some threshold that it would become nonlethal with less than a 1% reduction in kinetic energy.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:20 pm UTC

I suppose more than anything, it's a proof of principal of integration of different, intact, protein structures into a human skin line. It'd be neat to see what else they drum up, what else the technology is capable of.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

Even if it doesn't stop the bullet, would it at least slow the bullet down so that it doesn't penetrate as deep into the flesh? If so, that still increases a person's survival chances.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Glass Fractal » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:17 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Even if it doesn't stop the bullet, would it at least slow the bullet down so that it doesn't penetrate as deep into the flesh? If so, that still increases a person's survival chances.


Handgun bullets are usually designed to penetrate a minimum of 12 inches of flesh (supposedly the longest possible distance from the point of entry to the spine). I doubt that the difference is going to be significant. 9mm often hovers around 14 inches about 550J.

I wish they'd cited the work so we could see the energy of the bullet they used but if its about 115J that the skin blocks (and penetration scales with energy) then the bullet is still going over 11 inches through the body, easily enough to reach any vital organ.

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby idobox » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

It could be useful if it isn't the only protection. If the bullet come through some armor/obstacle but still has enough energy to do damage, it could change things drastically.
No matter how strong the skin is, if you shoot a powerful bullet at close range, even if it doesn't break, the damage to the organs will be important. Especially if the skin has elasticity comparable to normal one.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

Yeah, but if it (bullets) works the way gmalivuk described, then you could get that same marginal advantage from wearing slightly heavier protection in the first place. (I think the reason this experiment is actually cool, as opposed to the bait set out for science journalists, is just the fact that an artificially manufactured lattice made of biological material is being embedded inside a living tissue to alter its material properties. That's a fairly neat biotech proof of concept.)
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby thicknavyrain » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:10 pm UTC

I wonder if perhaps, bullets aside, this would give added resistance against blunt trauma and maybe even falls. How much "tougher" does this make skin? Would be less easily bruised?
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby idobox » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:33 pm UTC

thicknavyrain wrote:I wonder if perhaps, bullets aside, this would give added resistance against blunt trauma and maybe even falls. How much "tougher" does this make skin? Would be less easily bruised?

The sad thing is that a supple skin will provide almost no protection for that kind of stuff. Bones and joints are much tougher than any practical skin can be, and still suffer a lot from this kind of trauma.
For black eyes and stuff, the skin will provide no protection against compression, which, I think, causes small vessels to explode.
Cuts wouldn't even be prevented, as it is rather easy to cut silk.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby MisterCheif » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:49 am UTC

Even though it can only stop a reduced power .22 round, couldn't they layer the spider silk protein weave in bulletproof vests, or something like that? Or as some of the layers, to add a bit of extra protection.

How durable is the weave itself with no skin cells grown over it anyway?
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:24 am UTC

MisterCheif wrote:How durable is the weave itself with no skin cells grown over it anyway?

While spidersilk is a pretty awesome material, I think the amazing accomplishment is that they managed to integrate it into skin cells.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Ormpskel » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:20 am UTC

So would you get the skin grafted onto your old skin? Or remove and graft over?

Either way it doesn't seem to be too great a solution at the moment. It wouldn't stop a sniper round, or a hand gun at point blank range. Those two seem the most likely gun based assassination scenarios, which I assume this is designed to prevent against. Any other situation with weapons involved you would think that bullet proof/ resistant armour would also be considered.

Buff to spider skin please :)

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Iferius » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

Ormpskel wrote:So would you get the skin grafted onto your old skin? Or remove and graft over?


In the "why not go one step further" part of the news item, it is said that we could genetically enhance humans to naturally produce such tough skin. So you could IVF a baby that will be born this way. If you want to get it for yourself, I doubt you could get a double layer of skin, so I guess your skin would have to be removed first.


I wonder - would such a superskin protect from tiny wounds such as mosquito bites?

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Mr_Rose » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:18 pm UTC

Silkskin may not be any good for bullets, but I bet it would be a handy mod for spacers. Anything that would toughen the skin against vacuum would be good, no?
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:31 pm UTC

I don't know if 'tough' is the right word; spidersilk has unique properties in terms of having very high tensile strength to weight ratios. I'm honestly not sure how that translates to imparting vacuum resistance in skin. It seems this little technique is mostly useful for making skin more resistant to impact.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby thoughtfully » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:20 pm UTC

I think a more accurate term is punctures. You get punched wearing this stuff, and I don't think it's going to help at all. Unless it's rigid :) It'll keep your skin intact, but you can still get nasty bruises or even internal damage.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:00 am UTC

Mr_Rose wrote:Silkskin may not be any good for bullets, but I bet it would be a handy mod for spacers. Anything that would toughen the skin against vacuum would be good, no?
Your skin isn't what you really have to worry about in vacuum, anyway.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Mr_Rose » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:52 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Mr_Rose wrote:Silkskin may not be any good for bullets, but I bet it would be a handy mod for spacers. Anything that would toughen the skin against vacuum would be good, no?
Your skin isn't what you really have to worry about in vacuum, anyway.

Of course.
But assuming you live in a structure bordered by vacuum on all sides, I'd rather have to only worry about finding the emergency mask than the emergency mask and the emergency suit.
Or, if we can find a working "breathe in space" mod, neither. But that isn't happening, or particularly likely to ever happen AFAIK.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

Not breathing, of course, but it might be possible to survive longer without external oxygen. The big problem with a vaccuum is the low pressure, and your fluids boiling out of tiny capillaries near the surface, and all the various orifices. Not to mention inside your body as well, as can happen to divers who ascend too quickly.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:51 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I don't know if 'tough' is the right word; spidersilk has unique properties in terms of having very high tensile strength to weight ratios. I'm honestly not sure how that translates to imparting vacuum resistance in skin. It seems this little technique is mostly useful for making skin more resistant to impact.


surely the effect of vacuum on skin is just the same but reverse of being hit by a bullet, the vacuum is pulling on the skin instead of pushing, the vacuum would be pulling all directions at once, if the tensile strength prevents tearing, and stretching, and is airtight, I think it would do well in vacuum.

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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:and your fluids boiling out of tiny capillaries near the surface, and all the various orifices.
To what extent do you think this actually happens? Most people significantly overestimate the amount of blood boiling that goes on. (Also, divers get the bends because nitrogen bubbles form due to the several atmosphere difference in pressure. In hard vacuum, there's only a 1 atmosphere difference outside the skin, and less than that inside assuming your skin basically holds together.)
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Xanthir » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:45 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I don't know if 'tough' is the right word; spidersilk has unique properties in terms of having very high tensile strength to weight ratios. I'm honestly not sure how that translates to imparting vacuum resistance in skin. It seems this little technique is mostly useful for making skin more resistant to impact.


surely the effect of vacuum on skin is just the same but reverse of being hit by a bullet, the vacuum is pulling on the skin instead of pushing, the vacuum would be pulling all directions at once, if the tensile strength prevents tearing, and stretching, and is airtight, I think it would do well in vacuum.

Like gmal says, the pressure difference between space and earth-ground is just a single atmosphere. Since you don't explode when someone punches you, your normal human skin is clearly strong enough to withstand that. Plus, 10m underwater is 2atm, which is roughly the same but in the opposite direction.

In other words, outer space is not reverse deep ocean.

The things you have to care about in space are protecting your handful of exposed soft/wet surface, like eyes and mouth/throat, and breathing (your lungs have a harder time dealing with the 0atm pressure than your skin does). Boiling effects are minimal outside those wet tissues, because your skin is keeping you pressurized. You don't have to worry about freezing, either - vacuum is an *excellent* insulator, since it's only capable of radiative heat transfer.

If you had only one piece of equipment for deep space, you'd probably want it to be a full-face breathing mask.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Mr_Rose » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

You do also need to protect your joints somehow, else they become instant bruises due to the increased skin elasticity there. That's what I was thinking of really, but I guess you could do that with pretty much any fibrous weave, if you could integrate it without rejection.

Basically I was remembering those counter-pressure vacuum-suits MIT was looking at a few years ago, only integrated subdermally instead of worn.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

I haven't seen a lot of good data, but I expect it's a bigger survivability (or long-term injury) problem than heat loss due to radiation, or lack of oxygen in the short term. Lots of yummy goodness appears magically when the google charm is invoked with "vacuum exposure". I found this one to be helpful and well written.

It seems that the blood does not boil for some time, but that it is involved in the process of death. One aspect I had overlooked is that hypoxia is accelerated at low pressures, since the oxygen is more or less sucked out of the blood. It seems that loss of pressure is the greater threat than asphyxia, which was my point, but that it isn't by much.

If the respiratory system is under pressure due to some breathing apparatus, I imagine exposure to vacuum could be survived for quite awhile, but it would be painful.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:48 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:I expect it's a bigger survivability (or long-term injury) problem than heat loss due to radiation, or lack of oxygen in the short term.
Perhaps, but it's the lack of oxygen that makes a person lose consciousness, and I suspect that being conscious for more of the 90 seconds it takes for blood pressure to fall too low would generally be far more useful than being able to survive unconscious for a few extra minutes.
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Re: Spidersilk wins again!

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

Not a followup from the same group, but still pretty cool. I'm really fascinated with spidersilk.
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