Truly Disturbing Headline: Bulletproof Human Skin Made With Spider Silk

Ah ha!  So the key to invincibility against bullets is…spiders?  Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be invincible anytime soon.  Read on for the unusual and amazing details.

A Dutch artist has combined human skin and spider silk to develop a type of bulletproof skin.

Jalila Essasidi worked with international scientists to create the new tissue using the silk, which is four times stronger than Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests, New Scientist reports.

Genetically modified goats and silkworms, able to produce spider silk proteins, spun out the weave in a lab at Utah State University.

The cocoons were then taken to South Korea, where they were made into thread and then sent to Germany to be woven into fabric.

This silk was then placed between bioengineered skin cells, developed by biochemist Abdoelwaheb El Ghalbzouri, in the Netherlands.

The skin was then incubated for five weeks before bullets were fired at it to test its strength.

The team shot bullets of different speeds at piglet skin, human skin, human skin infused with silkworm silk and human skin infused with the modified spider silk.

The bioengineered skin is able to hold off a bullet fired at half speed.

Although a bullet travelling at 329m/s pierced the tissue, it is already being examined as a future possibility for skin transplants.

Ms Essaidi is using the research in her artwork, by examining the political, social and ethical issues around safety in today’s technology driven world.

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