Web-making spiders employ a host of silk glands to synthesize a variety of silk filaments with different mechanical properties. Although it is widely believed that the aciniform glands are one such silk factory, there has been no hard evidence linking aciniform-derived proteins and silk -- until now. Researchers have now found that the aciniform gland in the black widow spider manufactures and extrudes a previously unidentified protein that is a component of multiple types of silk.
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Unraveling the Silky Spider Web
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