Imagine having a gun fired at you, the bullet whizzing toward you at a super-fast speed. But instead of the bullet piercing your skin and traveling deep inside your body, what if it instead repelled off your skin?
What sounds like a scenario straight out of a superhero movie or a sci-fi novel could eventually become reality. Scientists have created a skin made with goat's milk packed with spider-silk proteins, according to news reports. Their hope is that they can eventually replace the keratin in human skin -- which makes it tough -- with the spider-silk proteins.
To make the bullet-proof material, Dutch scientists first engineered goats to produce milk that contains proteins from extra-strong spider silk. Then, using the milk from the goats, they spun a bullet-proof material; a layer of real human skin is then grown around that skin, a process that takes five weeks, the Daily Mail reported.
"Science-fiction? Maybe, but we can get a feeling of what this transhumanistic idea would be like by letting a bulletproof matrix of spidersilk merge with an in vitro human skin," researcher Jalila Essaidi told the Daily Mail.
Does it work? Well, the skin is only able to stop bullets fired at reduced speeds, TechNewsDaily reported. It was not able to stop a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle shot at a normal speed, which is the required standard for today's bulletproof vests.
The skin is currently on display at the National Natural History Museum Naturalis in Leiden, Netherlands, until Jan. 8, 2012, TechNewsDaily reported.
More research must be done before this bullet-proof "super skin" can actually be possible to engineer into humans.