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Spider silk spun into violin strings
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Spider silk spun into violin strings

A Japanese researcher has used thousands of strands of spider silk to spin a set of violin strings.

The strings are said to have a "soft and profound timbre" relative to traditional gut or steel strings.

That may arise from the way the strings are twisted, resulting in a "packing structure" that leaves practically no space between any of the strands.

The strings will be described in a forthcoming edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Shigeyoshi Osaki of Japan's Nara Medical University has been interested in the mechanical properties of spider silk for a number of years.

In particular, he has studied the "dragline" silk that spiders dangle from, quantifying its strength in a 2007 paper in Polymer Journal.

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