DSCC News

Hagfish slime: The clothing of the future?

2 April 2013

Source: BBC World Service

Author: Anna Rothschild

The jawless, spineless hagfish is a primitive creature that lives at the bottom of the ocean and dates back as far as 500 million years - but it exudes a very special slime, which could provide the clothing of the future.

Hagfish are not the most glamorous of creatures. They slope around on the deep, dark ocean floor, scavenging for food. Dead whale is a favourite. But they do have a trick up their sleeve, or rather tucked within their snake-like body - abundant, highly-condensed slime. 

A hagfish has no jaws, and its slime serves as a valuable form of self-defence.

"They're maybe not the prettiest of creatures to work on, but I have a lot of respect for them," says Tim Winegard, a researcher at the University of Guelph in Canada, studying the fibres found in hagfish slime.

For more, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779