Gecko adhesive gets added mussel | Science News

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Gecko adhesive gets added mussel

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10:44am, August 1, 2007

Geckos walk up and down walls with the greatest of ease, thanks to tiny, spatula-shaped "hairs" on their feet that adhere and release (SN: 7/15/00, p. 47). Although materials researchers have made surfaces that borrow from the nanoscale design of gecko feet, the imitators' adhesive power fades after repeated attachment and removal (SN: 6/7/03, p. 356), and they don't work when wet.

To solve these problems, Phillip Messersmith and his colleagues at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., have contributed their knowledge of wet adhesives in mussels (SN: 12/18/04, p. 401). Mussels secrete a protein from their feet that b

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