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Silk, the ancient material of the future - Fiorenzo Omenetto

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Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.

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Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons.Teachers and students! Watch silk worms weave silk in your classroom. Learn more here.These four maps were produced by Mark Graham and are based on data gathered mostly from UNCTAD/WTO (2002), Datta and Nanavaty (2005), and correspondence with Ron Currie, the former Secretary General of the now defunct International Silk Association. It should be noted that these maps are not intended to present an absolute or comprehensive picture of the global silk industry. There are undoubtedly a number of significant omissions in the maps due the unavailability of countrywide data for a number of nations. Furthermore, the symbology and shading of countries is not an attempt to convey any sort of binary information; it is instead simply a strategy to highlight dominant players at a national scale. Arrows indicating flows of silk also do not convey any qualitative or quantitative aspects of those flows. For example, the arrows emanating from Brazil are all of the same width and shading despite the fact that Brazil exports around 75% of its raw silk to Japan. Finally, any arrows starting or ending in Europe are intended to refer to the E.U. as a whole. However, it should be noted that Italy, France, Switzerland, and the U.K. are the dominant European participants in the silk industry.

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