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TOKYO - Japanese scientists say they have succeeded in producing spider silk from photosynthetic bacteria in a breakthrough which they say could lead to sustainable mass production for textiles.

Extremely strong, lightweight and completely biodegradable, spider silk offers huge potential to the industry, but the challenge is that each spider can only produce a small amount.

Several initiatives have been set up around the world to try to find a way to produce spider silk at scale and the Japanese programme is the latest to claim a breakthrough.

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