Lisa Marie Potter, Inside Science -- Skin has to be flexible enough to jump, crawl, and kick with us.
It also has to be resilient enough to withstand our falls, scrapes, and cuts. Scientists have marveled at skin's strength for years without knowing why it's so durable.
Now, scientists have identified the mechanical properties that give skin its toughness. Their findings are the first to show that collagen, the most abundant protein in skin, moves to absorb stress and prevent the skin from tearing. In the future, this knowledge could help us use nature's blueprint to make better synthetic skin and improve the strength of man-made materials.