“Using your notes (plus these resources as needed), explain the commonality between this modern day wonder and the ancient art.”
According to the one TED video on silk, the main protein that comprises silk (fibroin) can be mixed in water, set onto basically any surface, and solidify into a thin sheet as the water evaporates and the proteins adhere, retaining the shape of whatever was below it. It is biodegradable, can store information, and has numerous other properties. Similar to its textile form which has been weaved for thousands of years, this new form has properties that make it very sought after by many people, it could be very versatile, its used could be profitable, and it is renewable.
Next, we come to the NOVA video on samurai swords, which are named katanas. They are made from both carbon-poor and carbon-rich iron which results in tough, bendable steel and hard, sharp edge-keeping steels, respectively. When worked in the hands of a master swordsmith, which could require months of hard work, the result is a blade that has a hard outer shell that holds a sharp edge, and a tough inner core that absorbs shock to prevent shattering. And how are these steels relevant to the modern world? Because materials such as these can provide the structure of new buildings that can withstand earthquakes and a hundred years of wear. They can be used with other alloys to make airplanes, vehicles, and perhaps even rockets that are very durable and difficult to break.