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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2018

Mussel Glue

by  AP Staff

Do you know what a mussel is? Not the kind that is a part of your body (which is spelled “muscle”), but the kind that lives in lakes, streams, or the ocean. A mussel is like an oyster. It has a shell and a very soft body inside the shell.

One type of mussel, called the blue mussel, makes very strong glue. It can stick itself to rocks or logs. When strong waves crash against the mussel, it can stay put, because of its strong glue.

The blue mussel’s glue is amazing because it sticks under water. Have you ever tried to glue something in water? Most glue does not work on things that are wet. Have you ever taken a bath with a Band-aid® on? What happened? The Band-aid® probably came off because the sticky tape does not work well in water.

Scientists are studying the glue of the blue mussel and trying to copy it. They want to copy it because glue that works when it is wet can be very helpful. Think of all the things it could do. It could be used to fix the undersides of boats. This special glue could also be used to fix swimming pools or large fish tanks.

This amazing glue could also be used to glue skin together! When people get a deep cut on their skin, they often have to get stitches. Sometimes the stitches leave scars. But doctors are working with a new kind of glue that could replace stitches. Many types of glue do not work on skin because skin contains a lot of water.

When we look at nature, we see millions of wonderful designs that God created. We can copy some of these designs and use them to make our lives better. Other designs are so difficult to understand, even the smartest humans cannot figure them out or copy them. The designs found in nature teach us very important lessons. They teach us that God is much smarter than humans will ever be. They also teach us that God designed the world just right for humans to live here. God cares about us and wants us to be happy. He wants us to learn about the natural world and use it to help make our lives better. But even more than that, God designed His Word, the Bible, to help us learn how to serve Him and go to heaven.

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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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