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Japanese scientists produce glow-in-the-dark silk
Jun '13
courtesy: Advanced Functional Materials
courtesy: Advanced Functional Materials
Using the technique of genetically engineering the silkworms by feeding them with rainbow-coloured dyes, scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) have produced silk fibre with florescent skeins with red, green and orange hues.
According to an article titled “Colored Fluorescent Silk Made by Transgenic Silkworms” in the latest issue of ‘Advanced Functional Materials’, authors say the NIAS scientists used the technique of feeding silkworms with rainbow-coloured dyes, wiping out the need for dietary interventions.
The scientists also slightly twisted the silk production process to convert the slightly freakish fibres into utility fabrics.
Experimenting on over 20,000 silkworms bred and reared transgenically, the researchers found out a different way to convert raw silk into a usable material by lowering the temperature of cooking cocoons and making use of an alkaline solution and vacuum.
“Fabrics with fluorescent color are demonstrated using the recombinant silk, with the color persisting for over two years,” says the article.
“The results indicate that large amounts of genetically modified silk can be made by transgenic silkworms, and the silk is applicable as functional silk fiber for making fabrics and for use in medical applications,” it adds.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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