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Spider-man has some pretty sweet abilities, but let us take a scientific look to see how well this superhero stacks up to reality.
For Spider-man to become genetically modified, the spider that bit him would have to release a retrovirus into his body.
Retroviruses carry genetic information which gets inserted into the DNA of cells.
The cell then reads the new DNA to create specific functions and proteins for that cell.
But this retrovirus would have to make its way to nearly every cell and have the ability to code for new and different functions in each cell.
So while it's theoretically possible, it would also be pretty "amazing".
Silk: it's actually proportionately stronger and more flexible than steel.
Spider webs, one tenth the size of a piece of hair, are able to catch insects flying upwards of 15 miles an hour.
And, believe it or not, if a web were an inch thick in diameter, it could actually stop a fighter jet.
Strength: some spiders can lift up to 50 times their body weight. This muscle strength is directly related to size.
Think about your bicep. When you work out, it increases in height and width but not length.
In this way, the strength of an organism increases as a square, or by 2 on the scale factor.
But as organisms get bigger, their volume increases in height, width and length, as a cube, or by 3 on the scale factor.
This creates a ratio of 2:3, meaning the bigger the organism, the smaller its proportional strength.
But because Spider-man is human shaped and sized, the retrovirus would have to encode for the creation of more actin and myosin proteins.
These proteins affect the contraction abilities of muscles, and in effect could make a human stronger.
Climbing walls? Not a problem for spiders, they have tiny hairs on each leg.
And these hairs have tons of even smaller hairs with triangular ends, which interact within nanometers of the atoms on the surface.
This creates electrostatic forces, allowing them to stick with a strength of 170 times their own weight.
To capture this ability, Spider-man would need permanently hairy hands and feet, which may not overly impress his damsels in distress.
And finally, what about the Spidey Sense?
Well, spider hairs are extremely sensitive to vibration and air pressure changes.
But this means that Spider-man could only perceive things that are near him, and not events at a distance.
Got a burning question you want answered?
Ask it in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe for more weekly science videos.


從科學角度看蜘蛛人! The Science of Superheroes - SPIDER-MAN

8159 分類 收藏
Calvin Chen 發佈於 2012 年 12 月 12 日
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