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BOSTON - Scientists have created a leather-like material from silk proteins which they say offers similar qualities to the real thing but from a more sustainable source.

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Boston, Massachussets, say their material offers a similar texture, flexibility and stiffness to real leather.

But they claim that it is more sustainable than leather which requires the hides of billions of animals each year and is blamed for deforestation, water and land overuse, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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