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At the heart of ‘copying from Nature’ lies the implied assumptions that, firstly, researchers understand what they propose to copy and that, secondly, industrialists have found ways to successfully integrate the many requirements necessary for a reliable bio-mimetic copying process. Here we explore the traits of native silks and examine the assertions associated with man-made copies focusing on the question: why do the various assertions and claims matter, and why is a critical evaluation appropriate for a special themed issue on biomimetic soft matter?
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