Silky Secrets

My spidey senses are… silky? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. By weight, spider silk is stronger than steel! However, perfectly reproducing this versatile material has proven difficult. How do spiders successfully spin silk? Lucas Parent at Northwestern University and David Onofrei at San Diego

Every Beat of Your Heart

What’s YOUR biggest “fear factor?” Heights? Snakes? CLOWNS??!! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Whatever your phobia, it can be paralyzing! To overcome our fears, we can expose ourselves to them bit by bit. But it’s a slow process. Enter a research group led by

Electric Spideyland

My Spidey-sense is tingling! Is there a storm on the way? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Like Spider-Man, spiders release a line of silk and then LEAP into the air. This is called ballooning, and it’s how spiders travel far and wide. Some can

Spider Bright

The latest designer colors could be coming to you soon courtesy of… tarantula hair? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Researchers at the University of Akron are interested in spider hair. Specifically, the hairs of the Metallic Blue Ornamental tarantula. This giant spider gets its

Spidery Surgery

Shooting webs! Climbing walls! What else can Spiderman do? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Broken bones are the worst! Fortunately, bone tissue can regrow. Installing metal plates can help support bone growth. But metal can be irritating – isn’t there a better way? Maybe!

Fear Blockers

Afraid of spiders? Just wave your wizard wand! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying, unfortunately, unlike Harry Potter and his friends, we can’t simply magic the fear away. Or can we? Uncontrollable fear can make life difficult, and there aren’t many options for treatment.

Hot Spiced Tarantula

Like your chili extra hot? Here’s another thrill you might enjoy—a tarantula bite! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. A study by David Julius of the University of California, San Francisco, looked at venom from a West Indian tarantula. It’s shown to activate the same

Spider Reality Show

Spiders who love video games too much? Story at 11! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Jumping spiders are well-known for their good vision. But researchers have a hard time getting them to display natural behaviors in the lab. That’s why scientists at Australia’s Macquarie