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News and Media

The Silk Group has been involved in promoting the wonders of silk to the public for the past 30 years in forms of media including internet, TV, radio and the press.

If you would like to obtain press statements, publications, access to our library of press-quality photographs and video please contact us.

This page showcases our news and some of the media the Oxford Silk Group have been featured in. For our own peer-reviewed publications, see the Publications page. For our own other media output please use the links to the left.

Grants & Positions

18th September 2014

Following an exciting 3yr International Exchange Project funded by the Royal Society we were successful in a collaborative application to the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) by our Paris partners Profs Sebastien Neukirch, Arnaud Antkowiak, Regis Wunenburger, and our Bordeaux partners Prof J. P. Delville. This very generously funded ANR project is for 4 yrs, starting Oct 2014. The interdisciplinary study aims to establish bio-inspired technology derived from fundamental structure-function relationships seen in the orb-spider web glue droplets. This will be coupled with the development of novel analytical technologies. The team is seeking two PhD students to start in Sept 2015 at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris and at the University of Bordeaux, France. Applicants are expected to have backgrounds and/or interests in bio-filaments, soft matter, the physics of droplets, or instrumental optics (laser). The PhD work will involve travel exchange between the Oxford, Paris, and Bordeaux groups and the students will be encouraged to take advantage of the international and interdisciplinary framework of the collaboration. For details on the project and positions please contact Prof. Sebastien Neukirch (Email: sebastien.neukirch@upmc.fr).

News & Media archive

October 2014 Prof Fritz Vollrath features in 'The Big Picture: Nature's homespun super material', an article in the University's magazine 'Oxford Today'. Read here

25th September 2014 Prof Fritz Vollrath is interviewed by The Oxford Times on the use of silk for biomedical devices, in the article 'A glimpse of medicine's future'. Read here

7th July 2014 The Silk Group is greatly saddened by the loss of Prof. David Porter who passed away last week, when his heart suddenly gave out.

5th June 2014 Our recent article, investigating how spider silks can be tuned to a wide range of harmonics, is featured online on Daily Mail and National Geographic

3rd June 2014 Beth Mortimer is interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford on her recent work on the vibration properties of silk. Listen here from 2:20:25.

3rd June 2014 Our recent article, published in Advanced Materials, investigating how spider silks can be tuned to a wide range of harmonics, is featured on wired.co.uk and news.sciencemag.org

3rd June 2014 Spiders know the meaning of web music, Oxford Science Blog

3rd June 2014 Our collaborative work on the vibration properties of spider silks, published in Advanced Materials, finds that silks transmit vibrations across a wide range of frequencies so that its sound carries information about prey, mates, and even the structural integrity of a web.

29th May 2014 Our recent paper on the manufacturing properties of natural silk biocomposites is featured in a news story in the American Institute of Architects ARCHITECT magazine.

13th May 2014 Our recent paper on the manufacturing properties of natural silk biocomposites is featured in a news story in Materials Today.

May 2014 Beth Mortimer's science journalism piece, 'The softer side of nature: caterpillars inspire new-age robots', is published online at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Read more.

15th April 2014 The Guardian interviews Prof. Vollrath for an article that identifies spider silk as one of the five wonder materials that could change the world. Read more

11th April 2014 Beth Mortimer of the Oxford Silk Group wins 2nd place in the Science Award 2013 at the 5th Zwick Academia Day. Read here and here

3rd March 2014 Visit us on our SILK stand at The Big Bang Fair 2014 from March 15-16 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.

February 2014 Oxford Silk Group features in Sir David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities Ep. 8 Spinners and Weavers. View Here


8th December 2013 Novel work on the electrostatic properties of spider webs is featured on The Independent and the Oxford Science Blog. View the video here.

8th December 2013 How electricity helps spider webs snatch prey and pollutant, Oxford Science Blog

3rd December 2013 The winter edition of EPSRC's Pioneer magazine features an article, 'Spin cycle', on current research on recreating silk synthetically, on an industrial scale. Read here.

5th November 2013 Pioneering collaborative work on brown recluse spider's super-thin ribbon silk is reported on ScienceDaily. Read here

1st November 2013 Discovery on silkworm paralysis enabling large-scale production of silks with bespoke qualities is featured in the World Textile Information Network's magazine, Twist (November 2013). Read excerpt here and article here

31st October 2013 Novel work on plant latex features in articles on the Environmental News Network, Farming UK and Scientist Live.

30th October 2013 Plants use natural latex in different ways, to help poison insects or rapidly heal wounds, a new study has found, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

9th October 2013 Spider’s super-thin ribbons key to silk tech, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

18th September 2013 Paralysis promises smart silk technology, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

7th July 2013 Work by Beth Mortimer on the effect of high speed projectiles on cocoon silk is featured in two stories by BBC News, here and here

3rd July 2013 Fritz is featured in Al Jazeera's health documentary series, The Cure, here

6th June 2013 Beth Mortimer and Ann Terry appear on BBC Radio Oxford, to talk about research done at the group here (1hr56mins in)

16th April 2013 Maxime's work on Raman Spectromicroscopy is featured in the blog "The Silkworm" here

8th April 2013 Fritz contributes for article in Nature about the future of silkworms in silk production here

10th March 2013 Fritz's interview for Who's the Pest? is also featured on BBC Radio 4's round-up programme, Pick of the Week audio

5th March 2013 An interview with Fritz is featured in the BBC Radio 4 documentary, Who's the Pest? audio (15mins in)

20th February 2013 ITV Meridian does a story on the medical benefits of silk, with interviews with Fritz Vollrath and Nick Skaer of Orthox. Video

1st February 2013 Der Spiegel features the Silk Group's video on spider silk reeling here

19th January 2013 The Japan Times features the article on Fritz's research into spider silks here

12th January 2013 The Observer publishes an article on Fritz's research into spider silks here, with an accompanying video of spider reeling here.


26th November 2012 The collaboration between Ann Terry and Chris Holland is highlighted in an article for ISIS here

6th September 2012 Chris represents the group and Oxford Biomaterials for a UK NanoKTN Trade Mission on Nano Regenerative Medicine in Germany and Austria including presenting at the British Embassy in Berlin here

30th July 2012 Juan wins best poster prize at the Junior Euromat Workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland

21st July 2012 Prof. Fritz Vollrath is awarded a prestigious Proof of Concept grant to accompany his ERC advanced grant.

20th July 2012 The Technology Partnership plc (TTP) have featured both Silk Group Spinouts in issue 8 of their technology journal "inside: technology". Download PDF: "A method of spinning spider-like silk, the 'holy grail' of bio materials" (Oxford Biomaterials) and "The leading solution in cartilage repair" (Orthox)

4th May 2012 Cocoon clue to lightweight armour & cars, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

2nd May 2012 Inspirational silkworm cocoons paper inspires an article on Reuters Breaking news, ABC Science: News in Science, CNBC, Phys.org, Indian news site First Post, translated by Chinese science site Guokr, Canadian Vancouver Sun. Profs Vollrath & Porter are interviewed by Dubai business tv (from 10m40s), screenshot 1 2

6th February 2012 The Novel Marine Silk Paper is featured in Chemie in unserer Zeit, pdf here

30th January 2012 The front page article of The New York Times science section is an article on 'our' crested rat, including a lovely full-page drawing


21st December 2011 We have been featured in the BBSRC Industrial Biotechnology News for our new breed of exotic materials for biomedicine based on silkworm and spider silk here

10th December 2011 Katrin has been interviewed by CBC radio regarding the Silk Shrimp Story here

23rd November 2011 In collaboration with the University of Sheffield we have demonstrated that natural silks are spun from aquamelts, and are a thousand times more efficient than common plastics when it comes to forming fibres. Paper and news item here, article in & Picture of the Day in New Scientist magazine.

23rd November 2011 Spider know-how could cut future energy costs, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

15th November 2011 Our Novel Marine Silk Paper is cover of Naturwissenshaften and featured on the BBC Website and an article in The Economist magazine, scan of which here. Also in Der Spiegel here

31st October 2011 Chris Holland is visiting Westminster this week as part of the Royal Society Pairing Scheme

5th October 2011 Oxford Silk Group's work is selected and featured in a case study celebrating the impact of the the University's research. View either www or pdf

3rd August 2011 Oxford Silk Group team up with Oxford biologist Jonathan Kingdon to use our analytical skills and equipment to look at the posionous spines of the African crested rat, the first known mammal to use toxins from plants to protect itself. Featured in BBC Online, New Scientist, Der Spiegel, Welt and many others. Email us for full list. Video on Youtube here

3rd August 2011 Rat makes its own poison, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

24th May 2011 The breakthrough work by DPhil student Tom Gheysens on reeling silk from previously impervious wild silks from around the world is highlighted in the New York Times, who also briefly interviewed Prof. Vollrath about the pioneering technique.

19th May 2011 Mineral discovery reels in wild silk harvest, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

18th May 2011 DPhil student Tom Gheysens' new paper on reeling silk from previously impervious wild silks with the potential for opening up a larger silk industry around the world is highlighted in Science Daily magazine

4th April 2011 The Oxford Silk Group was featured on the ESRF website new feature 'Why is silk spun?' ESRF Light for Science channel 1st April. Watch clip here

8th March 2011 The Oxford Silk Group talk about silk in a New York Times science article


12th December 2010 The Silk Group's Bjoern Greving and spider silk are the stars of an extended segment of the German childrens' science & knowledge programme Kopfball ("Header") on German TV. You can watch the entire segment and read associated information in German or with text translated by Google translator (result may be unintentionally amusing)

11th October 2010 The Oxford Silk Group is featured on physicsworld.com, a website of the Institute of Physics - "Unravelling the secrets of silk production" article here

28th July 2010 Prof. Vollrath gives his opinion on artificial silks in the Guardian Newspaper here

1st July 2010 The Oxford Silk Group was featured on Teachers' TV 2010 'Inside Science - Materials: Spider Silk' Teachers TV, watch the entire episode here

30th March 2010 The Oxford Silk Group was featured on BBC 1 primetime science programme Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds. To watch find it on iPlayer here


9th December 2009 Silk: saves bodies & environment, Oxford Science Blog, book here

29th September 2009 The Oxford Silk Group has been featured on BBC 1 primetime Science Programme Bang Goes The Theory. To watch an exerpt click here

26th March 2009 Orthox, a spin out company from the Oxford Silk Group has been featured in the Financial Times. This includes a mention of the recent £1.6m investment from the Wellcome Trust to continue development of a knee repair device here

23rd March 2009 We have just been awarded an EPSRC Next Generation Users Studentship to start October 2009. Details of this exciting 4 year Dphil and how to apply will be posted soon.

9th March 2009 Orthox, a spin out company from our group has been featured in The Engineer. Orthox has just received £1.6m in funding from the Wellcome Trust to make a silk protein-based knee implant.

27th January 2009 Oxford Silk Group welcomes 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres here and here

22nd January 2009 Chris Holland has been interviewed for BBC Radio 4's The Material World regarding the group's exciting work at ISIS. listen


11th November 2008 We have been featured for our work at ISIS on the BBC news website here

1st August 2008 Prof Zhengzhong Shao from Fudan University, Shanghai is visiting for joint research

15th May 2008 David Porter has just been made a visiting professor at the Department of Engineering Materials at the University of Sheffield.

9th May 2008 Prof. Andrew Carr has been named director of a new Biomedical Research Unit at Oxford, a 3.75 million pound partnership between the National Health Service (NHS) and Oxford University. Here and here

22nd March 2008Silk in Space! Our samples have been transferred by the NASA space shuttle Endeavour and successfully deployed on the ISS Columbus Modulus as part of the Material International Space Station Experiment (MISSE 6) and our collaboration with the AFOSR

29th February 2008 Fritz Vollrath and the OSG have been featured in the HiIlary Edition of Oxford Today, the alumni magasine for the university with a readership of over 150,000 here

8th February 2008 Chris Holland has been elected Fellow by Examination in Biology at Magdalen College, Oxford for 3 years from October 2008


5th December 2007 Researchers find the 'breaking point' of proteins, Oxford Science Blog

4th July 2007 Chris Holland has been awarded 1st place for best talk in the MPLS Graduate Student Prize Symposium

7th June 2007 'Malvern Rheometer In Continuing Search For Perfect Silk' laboratorynetwork.com 11th June 2007 here, Nanotechnology Now 7th June 2007 here, AZOM.com here

5th June 2007 'How to make Artificial Spider Silk' Softperida News Nano-Biotechnology here

4th June 2007 For spider-strength silk go back to basics, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

3rd May 2007 A Review "Nanoscale toughness of spider silk" by D.Porter and F. Vollrath will appear in the June edition of Nanotoday here

14th April 2007 The Oxford Silk group has been featured in this week's edition of Science News here

14th April 2007 'Taken for a spin' Science News: Vol 171 here

28th March 2007 'A Spider's Silky Strength' Sciencenewsforkids.org here


10th October 2006 "Comparing the rheology of native..." Holland et al 2006 is now the Cover article for the November issue of Nature Materials

27th November 2006 'Malvern Rheometer Helps Oxford Scientists Unravel Secrets of Silk' ThomasNet Industrial Newsroom here

1st November 2006 Spiders' unspun silk flows easier the faster it is sheared, Oxford Science Blog, our paper here

31st October 2006 'The Elephant in the mirror' NYT here

27th September 2006 'Scientists Compare the Rheology of Native Spider and Silkworm Spinning Dope' AZOM.com here

12th July 2006 Our research on how silk could help repair nerves in featured on the BBC here


'Tejidos Araña & Gusano S.A.' El Columbino (Spanish) here

21st September 2002 Der Herr der Spinnen. Speigel Wissen, here

October 2001 Spinning lessons, Gross M., Chemistry in Britain, October 2001, 34 - 35 here

September 1990 The mighty gossamer, Vollrath F., The world and I, September 1990, 316 - 319 here

28th August 1989 A little glue makes the difference, Lipkin R., Insight, August 28th 1989, 54 - 55 here

19th August 1989 Spiders stretch their webs beyond limits, Duthie D., New scientist, 19th August 1989, 29 here on-line

28th July 1989 Aiming at gossamer armour, Concar D., The Times here

27th July 1989 Scientists unravel spider's web, Radford T., Guardian, 27th July 1989 here

9th September 1988 Spiderman's secrets, Hardy F., Daily Mail, 9th September 1988, 7 here


Media authored by Oxford Silk Group

Press releases

June 2012 Nature-Inspired Science and Engineering for a Sustainable Future, Science Policy Briefing of the European Science Foundation. Fritz Vollrath as contributor access

7th June 2007 'Malvern Rheometer In Continuing Sear For Perfect Silk' Malvern Instruments here

27th November 2006 'Malvern Rheometer Helps Oxford Scientists Unravel Secrets of Silk' Malvern Instruments here

Video

10th May 2012 Profs Vollrath & Porter are interviewed by Dubai business tv (from 10m40s), screenshot 1 2 on the possibility of making cocoons into composite materials after our paper on the subject.

3rd August 2011 Oxford Silk Group team up with Oxford biologist Jonathan Kingdon to use our analytical skills and equipment to look at the posionous spines of the African crested rat, the first known mammal to use toxins from plants to protect itself. Featured in BBC Online, New Scientist, Der Spiegel, and many others. Email us for full list. Video on Youtube here

4th April 2011 The Oxford Silk Group was featured on the ESRF website new feature 'Why is silk spun?' ESRF Light for Science channel 1st April watch clip here

12th December 2010 The Silk Group's Bjoern Greving and spider silk are the stars of an extended segment of the German childrens' science & knowledge programme Kopfball ("Header") on German TV. You can watch the entire segment and read associated information in German or with text translated by Google translator (result may be unintentionally amusing)

1st July 2010 The Oxford Silk Group was featured on Teachers' TV 2010 'Inside Science - Materials: Spider Silk' Teachers TV, watch the entire episode here

30th March 2010 The Oxford Silk Group is featured on BBC 1 primetime science programme Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds. To watch tune into BBC 1 at 9pm or preview here

2009 The Oxford Silk Group has been featured on BBC 1 primetime Science Programme Bang Goes The Theory. To watch an exerpt click here

2005 'Ahead of the game' Explorations Series 3 Episode 7: to watch go here navigate to 'watch a story' and then select episode.

Audio

10th December 2011 Katrin has been interviewed by CBC radio regarding the Silk Shrimp Story here

2009 Chris Holland has been interviewed for BBC Radio 4's The Material World regarding the group's exciting work at ISIS. listen

2009 Science in Action: Using the ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source to study silk: BBC World service, 6th February listen.

2009 The Material World: Using the ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source to study silk: BBC Radio 4, 22nd January listen

Written word

28th July 2010 Prof. Vollrath gives his opinion on artificail silks in the Guardian Newspaper here

7th April 2007 The online presentation "From Plastics to Evolution" by Chris Holland is now available for viewing here

September 1990 The mighty gossamer, Vollrath F., The world and I, 316 - 319 here

 

 
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Copyright 2007 OSG last updated 27 October, 2014