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"[Science fiction is] anything that turns you and your social context, the social you, inside out."
- Gregory Benford

Shigawire  
  A very fine wire, used as a recording medium (among other things).  

Wire recorders were the precursor to tape recorders; the concept was first demonstrated in the 1870's using piano wire. The military used wire recorders very successfully during World War II and they were the first commercially successful form of recording device available to the public. See the Wire Recorder Transfer page for more information.

"Muad'Dib," the man said. "I failed you in . . . "

"The failure was mine, Korba," Paul said. "I should've warned you what to seek. In the future, when searching Sardaukar, remember this. Remember, too, that each has a false toenail or two that can be combined with other items secreted about their bodies to make an effective transmitter. They'll have more than one false tooth. They carry coils of shigawire in their hair -- so fine you can barely detect it... With Sardaukar, you must scan them, scope them -- both reflex and hard ray -- cut off every scrap of body hair. And when you're through, be certain you haven't discovered everything."

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

See the entries for solido projector and minimic film for other uses of shigawire. See also microwire from Between Planets, a 1951 novel by Robert Heinlein.

Helpfully, the glossary for Dune provides us with this information about shigawire:

SHIGAWIRE: metallic extrusion of a ground vine. (Narvi narviium) grown only on Salusa Secundus and III Delta Kaising. It is noted for extreme tensile strength.
"Tensile" comes from the latin word meaning "stretched out" - a material has good tensile strength if it resists being stretched out. The tensile strength of a material is the maximum resistance to fracture. Engineers also may refer to yield strength, the point at which the material begins plastic deformation (it begins to stretch or bend, and does not snap back).

For those who have obtained a sample of shigawire and wish to experiment, read more at Tensile Strength Test - Stretching Wires.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Shigawire-related news articles:
  - Nanowire Memory Cells: Compact Data Storage
  - Flexible Nanowire Data Storage

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