New material inspired by spider silk could replace single use plasticBECKY PHAN/ UNSPLASH

Spider silk to end plastic pollution? 

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have created a sustainable polymer film which could be used to replace single use plastics. 

The new material is based on the molecular properties of spider silk, and is made from sustainable, compostable ingredients which can be reproduced on an industrial scale. 

Xampla, a spin-out company of the University, will commercialise the product with the aim of replacing single use plastics. 

The project leader Professor Tuomas Knowles of Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistryt, said: “It was a surprise to find our research could also address a big problem in sustainability: that of plastic pollution.”

“We found that one of the key features that gives spider silk its strength is the hydrogen bonds are arranged regularly in space and at a very high density,” Knowles added. 

Cambridge circus presents the Globe of Death 

The Continental Circus Berlin have set up camp in Midsummer Common, with their first performance taking place on Wednesday (09/06).  

The circus act includes various feats including aerialists, high wire walkers and whirlwind acrobats. There are also some “death defying” motorcyclists braving a mesh dome known as the Globe of Death.   

The performances will be running until June 13 inside a colourful Big Top. Audience members can enjoy the spectacle with social distancing measures in place. 

Oat drink giants take on Cambridgeshire company

Cambridgeshire based oat drink company, Glebe Farm Foods, are being sued by dairy alternative giants, Oatly, for infringing on their brand. Glebe Farm Foods are a family owned farming company.

Oatly claim that PureOaty, a Glebe Farm Foods oat drink, is too similar to their trademark product, and are calling for the packaging to be altered. 

Philip Rayner said on behalf of Glebe Farm Foods that they “do not believe [they] have done anything wrong”, and added that the claims have come as a surprise to the company. 

The judgement from the court hearing is expected in July. 

Solar eclipse entices over 40,000 spectators 

This morning (10/06), the University of Cambridge Astronomy captured the partial solar eclipse, with over 40,000 people tuning into their livestream

The rare natural phenomenon can only be observed through virtual viewings, specialised solar eclipse glasses, or other indirect methods such as pinhole viewers.

During the eclipse, around 20 percent of the Sun was covered, with maximum coverage occurring at roughly 11:15 am. 

Certain images were able to capture huge magnetic storms on the surface of the sun, which Dr Matt Bothwell of the Institute of Astronomy described as being “extraordinary” in terms of “power and ferocity.”