University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom



New Spin on High Performance Materials


New Spin on High Performance Materials

UC Riverside biologist and spider silk expert to discuss how and why scientists are using spiderwebs to develop incredible technologies

(December 2, 2011)

Cheryl Hayashi is a professor of biology at UC Riverside and an expert on spider silk.  Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.Enlarge

Cheryl Hayashi is a professor of biology at UC Riverside and an expert on spider silk. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: Free public lecture, titled “Designs from Nature: A New Spin on High Performance Materials.”

WHEN: 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7 in the auditorium at UCR Palm Desert, 75-080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, Calif.

WHO: Cheryl Hayashi, professor of biology at UC Riverside and an expert on spider silk, will discuss how and why scientists are using spiderwebs to develop incredible technologies.

A U.S. Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar, and a MacArthur Fellow, Hayashi specializes in the molecular and mechanical characterization of spider silks. Her lab at UCR does extensive mechanical testing of silk fibers from different spider species.

In her lecture, she will discuss how people have borrowed concepts from nature to invent new technologies, such as Velcro fasteners and sharkskin-surfaced swimsuits. She will discuss, too, the science behind these innovations and the challenges of adapting natural solutions to manmade problems. As a case study, she will talk about spiders and the efforts to replicate their silks.

BACKGROUND: Scientists have long been fascinated with spider silks – used by spiders to move, trap and store food, and to reproduce – because of their extraordinary mechanical properties. Different proteins are made and mixed in the silk glands of spiders to create the silk.

“Humans have and will continue to draw inspiration for new technologies from the incredibly rich results of evolutionary experiments that began millennia before we first appeared,” Hayashi says.

OTHER: For more information, please call (760) 834-0800. The lecture series is presented in partnership with the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UCR. To register for the free lecture, please see “Related Links” below.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links

Footer