Singapore-The Velvet Worm is a carnivorous cowboy in the invertebrate world, using slime “ammunition” to catch its prey.

This sticky substance has been touted as a potential alternative to plastic and is ejected from two “muskets” from the sides of the worm’s mouth.

It is famous for being hardened to trap prey in a string-like net that is as strong as nylon, and completely dissolves when exposed to water.

The exact composition of slime was previously unknown to scientists, but a team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has revealed the exact composition of proteins in slime.

This brings slime from endangered worms one step closer to its commercial viability as a biodegradable plastic or adhesive.

“Slime has long been known to be made primarily of proteins, but no one knows,” said research supervisors at NTU’s Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Professor Ali Miserez of the Faculty of Biological Sciences. The complete sequence of protein amino acids. “

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins. There are 20 kinds of amino acids in all, all have different chemical compositions, and various kinds of chemical reactions are possible.

In addition, he added that the hardening mechanism behind slime was understood to be caused by the sudden assembly of many different slime proteins into a larger complex known as a biopolymer under certain conditions. I did.

Biopolymers can be thought of as elongated molecules made up of proteins and other types of large molecules such as cellulose, which is a major component of wood.

Professor Micheles cites common biopolymers that are of interest to many, such as silk and spider webs. It cannot be melted later. “

Therefore, by graphing the exact sequences of the amino acids in these polypeptides, he adds, it will be possible to study how these proteins interact exactly with each other to create the unique properties of slime. I did.

Source link

Previous articleQNB Strategic Sponsor of QBIC Demo Day 2022
Next articleYou need 24 hours of NAT effectiveness to leave Macau