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Spider Silk Weaves New Path for Electronics

Adding gold or nanotubes to spider silk creates microscopic wires

3 min read
Spider Silk Weaves New Path for Electronics

Photo: Kenneth M. Highfill/Getty Images

11 May 2012—Scientists chasing the secrets of spider silk have spent years focusing on the material’s remarkable mechanical properties. At 2 to 5 micrometers in diameter, it’s almost invisibly thin yet incredibly strong for its size, and it can stretch up to four times its original length. And everyone who has ever been in an attic knows how easily it adheres to things.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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