Spider Silk Showdown

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,823
    The University of the Basque Country challenges Iowa State University’s findings that spider silk as good of a heat conductor as metal.

    There’s a show down of sorts in the science community. In one corner we have Iowa State University saying that spider silk conducts heat as well as metal.  In the other corner, the Challenger University of the Basque Country in Spain, says that just not so.  Last year, we reported a finding from Iowa State University saying that spider silk was as good of a heat conductor as metal.  Now, physicists from the University of the Basque Country say that they were not able to repeat those findings.  Basque Country is bringing Iowa State’s findings into question.  The Basque team found that the thermal diffusivity of the spider silk was about 300 times smaller than the Iowa study.  They said this is because spider silk is formed of amino acid chains, which are poor conductors of heat.  Iowa State, are you gonna answer back?