A Bay Area startup is giving spiders and silkworms a run for their money. Bolt Threads, which announced a new $40 million round funding on Thursday, has developed a synthetic, “programmable” alternative to larval- or arachnid-produced silk. Engineered using proteins derived from yeast, the fibers can be manipulated to deliver any combination of softness, strength, and durability. They’re even machine-washable. “Think of the strength a delicate, pliable spiderweb must have to stop insects hurtling through the air,” Jim Kim and Tanguy Chau, members of the venture-capital group Formation 8, explained in a post on Wednesday. “Apply those properties to textiles, and you get a fabric with 100 times the strength of reinforced steel but that is as soft and flexible as the most comfortable fabrics.”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.