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Picture of the Day

Dressed to impress

A close-up of this Australian Maratus "peacock" jumping spider shows the vivid colors and unique patterns of his abdomen flap, which he folds around his body in ordinary circumstances and lifts and fans out during his elaborate courtship dance. As it turns out, spider fashion is "in." In 2010, National Science Foundation-funded researchers-turned-entrepreneurs launched Bolt Threads, a company that engineers silk fibers in much the same way that spiders do, and spins them into fabrics and garments. No spiders are harmed -- or even used -- in the making of the garments. Instead, the researchers use their knowledge of spider DNA to develop proteins that produce a natural silk with similar elasticity and durability as spider silk. The proteins are produced by and harvested from genetically engineered yeast.

Visit Website | Image credit: Jurgen Otto