From spider-silk jackets to corn-based plastic, the future of biotech will be as useful as it is weird.

In mid-January, a Canadian startup called Nexia Biotechnologies announced that its researchers had genetically engineered “dragline” spider silk in the laboratory. An amazing material, dragline silk is used in nature in the radiating spokes of a spiderweb, and is stronger than steel, lighter than cotton, and harder to tear than Kevlar. More here.