Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Chemical Dip Creates ‘Killer Silk’

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — A simple chemical treatment can turn ordinary silk into a fabric that kills disease-causing bacteria, including anthrax, a U.S. chemical journal reports.

Writing in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers say such a “killer silk,” created with an inexpensive dip-and-dry chemical treatment, has a number of potential uses including make-shift curtains and other protective coatings that could protect homes and other buildings in the event of a terrorist attack with anthrax.

In adverse conditions, bacteria of the Bacillus species, which includes anthrax, become dormant spores enclosed in a tough coating that can survive heat, radiation, antibiotics and harsh environmental conditions, researcher Rajesh R. Naik said.

Certain chemicals can destroy bacteria and have been applied to fabrics like cotton, polyester, nylon and Kevlar, but these treated fabrics are less so against spores.

The researchers tried a similar coating on silk to see if it could perform better, developing a chlorinated form of silk by soaking it in a solution that includes a substance similar to household bleach and letting it dry.

Silk treated for just an hour killed essentially all of the E. coli bacteria tested on it within 10 minutes and did similarly well against spores of a close anthrax relative used as a stand-in, they said.

“Given the potent bactericidal and sporicidal activity of the chlorinated silk fabrics prepared in this study, silk-Cl materials may find use in a variety of applications,” the researchers wrote.

Other applications could include purifying water in humanitarian relief efforts and in filters or to mitigate the effects of toxic substances, they said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Chemical Dip Creates ‘Killer Silk’”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.