Dutch Artist Creates Bulletproof Skin From . . . . Goat Milk & Spider Silk!

By

343 Words 3-Minute Listen

While the picture above may look like the mask from the 'Phantom of the Opera' it is actually human skin - one that is so strong, that it can ricochet bullets and turn any ordinary soul into superman - sans the fancy attire!

Oddly enough, this super human skin that has been imaginatively named '2.6g 329m/s' (the weight and the velocity of a .22 caliber long rifle bullet), is not the brainchild of a scientist, but of Dutch artist Jalila Essaidi, who wanted to prove that something like this could actually be done. However, while the 'big idea' was all hers, it did take a team of brilliant scientists to make it possible.

Ms. Essaidi's quest began with Randy Lewis, a professor of molecular biology at University of Wyoming, who has genetically modified ordinary goats to produce milk that contains the same proteins as spider silk.

When the protein from the milk is extracted and weaved, it results in a material that is ten times stronger than steel. While Randy's focus is to invent stronger materials, he was intrigued by Jalila's idea and agreed to part with some of his limited supply of 'spider' silk.

The enterprising artist than contacted scientists from Leiden's Department of Dermatology and the Netherlands Forensics Institute to get some help in integrating this tougher than steel material into the keratin of the human skin - a process that took about five weeks. The resulting skin was sandwich like - with the spider silk meshed in between the dermis and epidermis.

Once ready, the artist decided to put it to test and, she was not disappointed. While the toughened skin did not work when the bullet was fired at normal speed, it was able to withstand the impact, if the speed of the bullet was reduced slightly.

Unfortunately, growing bulletproof skin on our body is likely to be only a dream for now. However, in case you are interested, Jalila's masterpiece is on display until January 2012, as part of the 'Designers & Artists 4 Genomics' exhibition at the Naturalis Museum of Leidn.

Resources: DW-world-de, technews.daily.com

Cite Article
Geography
161 Comments
  • asup3rco0lgam3r
    asup3rco0lgam3rTuesday, April 26, 2016 at 11:20 am
    I dont understand it because it was in german, and i only speak a little german.
    • 4clv08
      4clv08Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:30 am
      They should try to make it resit any kind of gun or bullet it would be a lot better and then give them to cops,firefighters and all those kind of heros
      • 4clv15
        4clv15Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:27 am
        The skin is a smart idea because you can sell it and people wont die and i could be like a shirt and pants and socks
        • 4clv24
          4clv24Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:27 am
          this is a good idea i wish it worked
          • 4clv07
            4clv07Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:25 am
            maby that spider silk has some tipe of formula inside of the silk
            • 4clv20
              4clv20Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:24 am
              spider man is cool
              • 4clv13
                4clv13Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:20 am
                a mask is made of skin
                • 4clv15
                  4clv15Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:13 am
                  The spider is grody but i think it is a good idea
                  • 4clv12
                    4clv12Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:10 am
                    Your skin covers your muscles and bones.
                    • 4clv04
                      4clv04Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:10 am
                      I think that the goat spider silk thing is really cool