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


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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

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  • 4clv19
    4clv19Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:04 am
    Wow! That's amazing If you grow all your skin Your skin is so strong.
    • 4clv10
      4clv10Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:03 am
      Its cool that you can make bulletproof skin with goat milk and spider silk.
      • 4clv02
        4clv02Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:03 am
        I think that how the goats milk and the spider silk can make the mask is kinda cool.
        • 4clv23
          4clv23Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:02 am
          The skin of a human is nothing like the one on the picture.The skin is squisy.
          • linkshishnala
            linkshishnalaTuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm
            • nice jobThursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:14 am
              • nice jobThursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:01 am
                disgusting but nice
                • king juj717Monday, January 27, 2014 at 7:15 am
                  thats cool
                  • 4c36009
                    4c36009Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 9:43 am
                    That's a great idea,but I don't under stand how you going to make the skin last.Plus your going to have to have a lot of goats changed from normal to different to make it last.
                    • 4c36053
                      4c36053Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 9:42 am
                      that will be a good idea but i not thank it will work