Feature

A spinner's secrets

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Science  20 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6361, pp. 292
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6361.292

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Summary

All spiders spin silk, with glands that produce custom blends of proteins with different "motifs" that impart just the right properties—toughness, flexibility, stickiness, etc.—for a wide range of uses. Different silks make up distinct parts of a web, for example. Other are used to wrap prey or encase eggs. As this graphic shows, the silks exit the abdomen through spigots on so-called spinnerets.