I’m not shy. I’ll admit it. When I was little, I wore Spider-Man costumes nearly every day of my life and flipped around the house pretending I was Peter Parker. I have a bump on my hand which I called my “spider bite.” My mother loved it and wishes I still did that. It’d be a bit weird now, but I could do it for Halloween and get away with it.
Anyway, I’m probably not the only one that used to do this, and now it looks like the dream to become Spidey could soon be a reality, at least for those over seas.
According to a press release, the U.S. Army is increasing its funding for an experimental program that will create spider silk strong enough to produce armor for our men and women to use. Essentially, scientists will alter silk worm’s DNA by implementing that of a spider’s to allow the worm to produce silk stronger than what it’s ever made before. The best way to think about this is rather a human being bitten by a spider and having his/her DNA altered, silk worms will be used. Except, you know, they won’t be bitten, just genetically modified.
As for exactly what will be made for service members to wear, that really remains a mystery. One product mentioned, however, would be a special type of underwear or something to protect soldier’s genitals. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc., the organization who’s developing the technology, is making this level of protection a goal since there really isn’t much gear out there built specifically for this reason. And since the spider silk produced by the worm will be so strong, durable, and easy to maneuver in, this purpose may prove to make quite a difference for those fighting for our country.
KBL notes the organization’s contract is now valued at over a million dollars, so its funding definitely has some more breathing room for further research and development. At some point in the future, this could lead to something worth over a billion dollars and be producing spider silk helmets, outfits, and more. Of course, we’re just guessing here, but it looks like something’s working since it got more money, to say the least.
When soldiers start flying around like Spider-Man, we’ll obviously let you know.
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