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FARGO—It wasn't a fondness for Charlotte's Web or a fascination with Spider-man comic books that attracted Amanda Brooks to spiders. The assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at North Dakota State University began studying spider silk in hopes of applying its properties to biomedical research applications. "That's why I'm a scientist, because I want to help people," Brooks told a crowd gathered for her 1 Million Cups presentation Wednesday, June 28, at The Stage at Island Park. Brooks compared spiders spinning silk to playing with Legos.