Australian researchers develop ‘near-perfect rubber’-from insects

By Liz White, ERJ staff

Melbourne, Australia-Scientists at Australian research institute CSIRO have developed what they describe as “a near-perfect rubber” from a natural protein. The material, resilin, is the resilient, elastic muscle protein which gives fleas their ability to leap huge distances and helps insects fly.

A multi-disciplinary research team, funded by a CSIRO Emerging Sciences Area grant, was first to clone a portion of the resilin gene in the fruitfly and express it in bacteria as a soluble protein. In another first, the team made…

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