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Chemical defense in spider silk repelling ants may provide new pesticide design [Registered]

Researchers the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Melbourne have shown for the first time how Golden orb web spiders (Nephila antipodiana) add a chemical to their web silk to repel invading ants. The finding adds a chemical defense to the impressive properties of spider silk, already known to be very strong, elastic and adhesive, and may provide new opportunities for pesticide design. The research led by Daiqin Li (from NUS) is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Ants rarely occur on the web of orb web spiders, despite their abundance. “We found…

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