Here at UA, some of our renowned researchers are at the forefront in helping to put spiders on the map of awesomeness.

biology of superheroes logoThey’ve shown that we have so much to learn from spiders: the strength and resiliency of spider silk that make it similar to human muscles; spiders’ adaptive web glue that make it sticky in humid environments; and sophisticated mechanisms of their iridescent abdominal scales that will inspire new optical technologies and color construction.

Last June, Dr. Todd Blackledge and Dr. Ali Dhinojwala even led a panel at Awesome Con, a comic convention that takes place annually in Washington, D.C., centered on the powers of the amazing Spider-Man and their possible real-world applications. Blackledge is a professor of biology and Dhinojwala, the H.A. Morton Professor of Polymer Science, is interim dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

A new podcast kicked off in December titled “The Biology of Superheroes,” and its debut episode featured an interview with Blackledge about Spider-Man. The podcast is available online if you would like to check it out.

Source: University of Akron Digest