Fluorescent silk: Quantum dots make silkworms glow at the hours of darkness

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Nanometre-sized semiconductors extracted from mulberry leaves make silkworms and their silk emit a robust pink glow



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4 March 2022

A glowing silkworm

Huan-Ming Xiong

Silkworms that eat nanometre-sized particles referred to as quantum dots produce glow-in-the-dark silk.

Researchers have beforehand used gene enhancing to make fluorescent silkworms, however these strategies might be pricey and introduce random genetic mutations which can be dangerous to the worms.

As an alternative, Huan-Ming Xiong at Fudan College in Shanghai, China, and his colleagues extracted carbon quantum dots, nanometre-sized semiconductors that emit particular wavelengths of sunshine, from mulberry leaves and fed them to the silkworms.

Xiong and his workforce examined dozens of various carbon dots on the silkworms to search out candidates with …

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