Fact: Snails fed colored paper will poop colored squiggles. Now, silkworms are getting in on the technicolor action: a recent report shows that, after eating mulberry leaves treated with fabric dye, regular larvae will produce cotton-candy-tinted fibers. They're like biological 3D printers for producing colored silk.
Most of your exposure to silk probably comes in the form of uncomfortably sensual linens or cobwebs in a dusty old closet. In reality, though, silk is an incredible and overlooked material. While it may have roots in the ancient past, it could also form the building blocks of the future.