The ideal prosthetic limb is both stiff and flexible.
The human protein P53 helps the body to fight cancer, preventing damaged cells from turning into cancer cells, and the latter from spreading.
It is, however, very ‘floppy’, infrequently produced by the body and quickly broken down.
Which explains why a research team in Sweden took a closer look at a protein found in spider’s silk. Though similar to P53, its protective ‘cap’ makes it more stable.
The team attached this ‘cap’ to the human protein, creating a ‘fusion protein’ which was not only produced in greater quantities by cells, but also proved just as effective against cancer.