Stretching the Limits

Science  19 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5580, pp. 329-331
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5580.329

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Stretchy proteins perform a variety of critical functions for many organisms. Researchers are now finding out how they work and are beginning to apply that knowledge to new products for use in medicine, materials science, and even military projects. Artificial silks have the potential to make lightweight yet strong-as-steel protective clothing, for example, and polymers based on elastin are being developed to serve as arterial grafts or even energy-absorbing soundproofing materials.