“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee….”
While materials scientists are always interested in super-strong glues, they are especially interested in super-strong glues that harden under water. It turns out that a small marine worm called the Sandcastle Worm has a few things to teach them.
The Sandcastle Worm builds itself a tube-like shell by gluing together sand particles and bits of shell. It is the glue it uses that is of interest to scientists. This amazing glue not only hardens under water, it hardens in 30 seconds. The glue comes from a special gland in the Sandcastle Worm. While it hardens quickly, after several hours it becomes like leather.
After analyzing it, scientists identified several of the proteins that are responsible for its properties. They also found that half those proteins are either very negatively or very positively charged. Attempting to mimic the glue, scientists mixed together some of the same charged proteins to see if they would bond broken bone together in a wet environment. Their glue not only bonded the bone together, but remained neither acid nor alkaline, which is crucial for materials used in living bodies. Scientists also report that the glue is not poisonous.
As we study how God created things, we are learning better ways to do things. This is surely evidence that an intelligent Creator is responsible for the creation.
Father, prosper all good learning and knowledge. Keep us from falling into false knowledge. Amen.
Science News Online, http://www.sciencenews.org/index/activity/view/id/46544/title/
worm-inspired_superglue, Rachel Ehrenbergm, “Worm-Inspired Superglue.” Photo: Colony of Sandcastle Worm tubes removed from the beach. Courtesy of Fred Hayes for the University of Utah. (CC BY-SA 3.0)