These Ties Are Made of Spider Silk

One day, you could be wearing spider silk clothing—but with synthetic silk made in a lab. A company called Bolt Threads has successfully bioengineered synthetic silk inspired by spider webs and turned it into a tie, as The New Yorker and Co.Design report.

Bolt Threads uses genetically engineered yeast to produce proteins similar to the natural proteins in spider silk, then spins those proteins into fibers. The yarn from those fibers is used to make a limited edition tie that has already sold out. With only 50 ties available for $314 each, the company held a lottery on March 14 to give potential customers the chance to buy…

Scientists move closer to building synthetic yeast from scratch

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast
BUDDING STAR With five more synthetic chromosomes built, scientists are closer to creating a synthetic genome for Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (shown).

Synthetic yeast is on the rise.

Scientists have constructed five more yeast chromosomes from scratch. The new work, reported online March 9 in Science, brings researchers closer to completely lab-built yeast.

“We’re doing it primarily to learn a little more about how cells are wired,” says geneticist Jef Boeke of the New York University Langone Medical Center. But scientists might also be able to tinker with a synthetic yeast cell more efficiently than a natural one, allowing more precise engineering of everything from antiviral drugs to biofuels.

Boeke was…