In defence of spiders

Mention the word “spider” and the chances are that many people will shudder. It evokes a picture of huge hairy tarantulas or various nasties lurking in drains or under old stones. Or the sudden appearance of a gigantic huntsman on the wall during a dinner party in Australia. However, the picture is unfair. While there are some really dangerous venomous species, and others that can give a nasty bite or scratch, most are harmless. And without them we would soon drown beneath a sea of insects, because all the swifts and anteaters in the world could never keep up. But there is now a fascinating new possibility which could make our eight-legged chums of vital importance in medicine. Even maybe in regenerative nerve medicine, that holy grail of the profession.

Because today, courtesy of the Business Insider site, we are proud to present a video [1] which shows some of the latest research into spider silk. It’s incredibly strong and tough, and so could be used for things like surgical meshes, new joint ligaments and maybe even tendon substitutes. But the really exciting idea is how it seems able to provide a frame, a bit like the trellis in your garden allowing nerve cells to grow again. The possibilities in ameliorating the lot of those who have suffered crippling injuries or degenerative disease, are wondrous indeed. To be fair, cost is going to be a big problem. But we say: what if we took back just a little of the money stashed away in certain offshore dependencies, as a loan to start with, and used that? That’s one way to solve the issue.


For the really intelligent, here’s an amazing Wikipedia article which tells you almost more than you need to know

Appeal for Help

At LSS we use Wikipedia a lot as our baseline learning tool. But this fantastic organisation isn’t free. If you want to keeep the beacon of learning alive, why not contribute by clicking here?

Support Wikipedia – Wikimedia Foundation

#spider #spidersilk #nerve regeneration #surgery #tendon #surgicalmesh

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