The golden orb-web spider seems to have an inkling of what is blooming. The biologist Sarah Strauss, 39, lurks in the Kerstin Reimers Laboratory for Regenerative Biology at Hannover Medical School with a plastic box in front of her net. Trichonephila edulis, as it is called in Latin, floats down trying to flee. "There are candidates who play dead or roll up so that you can't get hold of them," says Strauss. "Even if biologists laugh at me: spiders have character." In a flash, she puts the box over the animal and puts the lid on. The spider now has to go to "work".
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