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Millions of hairy tarantula skins could be used to mop up oil spills


Scientist

Millions of hairy tarantula skins could be used to mop up oil spills

Life 13 February 2020 By James Urquhart The hair on the skin of Peru purple tarantulas can soak up crude oilMachalowski, et al, J. Envron. Manage (2020) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110218., Copyright Elsevier (2020)A sea of floating, dead tarantula skins might be an arachnophobe’s nightmare, but the moults of these spiders could help mop up ocean oil spills.…

Millions of hairy tarantula skins could be used to mop up oil spills


Life



13 February 2020

By James Urquhart

Spider hairs

The hair on the skin of Peru purple tarantulas can soak up crude oil

Machalowski, et al, J. Envron. Manage (2020) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110218., Copyright Elsevier (2020)

A sea of floating, dead tarantula skins might be an arachnophobe’s nightmare, but the moults of these spiders could help mop up ocean oil spills.

The skins of spider skins have “very strong” water-repelling properties, says Tomasz Machałowski at Poznań University of Technology in Poland, one of the team behind the concept. This means they could be useful for cleaning-up oil spills, as the materials used need to attract oil but also repel water …

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