This is a mock journal cover portraying spider silk as a strong material through the metaphor of using the silk strands as suspension bridge cables. Spider silk exhibits high tensile strength and high elasticity, making it one of the toughest known natural materials. The secret of its strength lies in the structure of its proteins (spidroins). Researchers hope to understand the mechanical properties of spider silk for medical and engineering applications, including artificial nerve grafting.
The spider is a golden orb-weaver spider (Nephila clavipes). The spidroin structure was modeled via the Protein Data Bank. The structure of the bridge was based on the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo, Japan.