May 262011
 

A new spin on silk: Silkworms in Singapore are weaving cocoons in brilliant colors.

A team at the country’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, part of the government’s lead agency for science and technology, is hoping to do away with the laborious and water-intensive silk-dyeing process by feeding domesticated silkworms (Bombyx mori) fluorescent molecules mixed into their natural diet of mulberry powder.

The worms’ silk glands take up the dye and incorporate it into the silk fibers they produce, lead author Natalia C. Tansil says.

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