Web Goats

from the biotech-bounty dept

The age of genetic modification is now gaining some momentum. Genetically modified goats have been produced that may eventually lead to spider?s web protein being produced in their milk. That?s right a material about 10 as strong as steal may soon be mass produced in the farm yard. These types of biotech applications will be useful for the construction of new stronger and lighter products (don?t worry you?ll soon get rid of the yuck factor!).

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Comments on “Web Goats”

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audris says:

No Subject Given

although this point might be too technical, the article does not comment on how they plan to turn the protein into the actual silk. the protein comes out of a spider’s spinneret as a liquid, and the spider combs it into the silk that we are all familiar with. it is still a big mystery in the science world as to what exactly is happening in this combing process. scientists and arachnologists have long been aware of the potential uses of spider silk, and have had tried making silk by extracting the the protein from a spider’s abdomen but they have met with little success. genetic reproduction of this silk protein is just one part of the puzzle; creating the actual silk is the real key. if these scientists have figured out how to replicate this process i would be greatly interested in learning about it.

mhh5 says:

Re: No advances... yet.

I haven’t seen anyone replicate dragline silk in a lab. In fact, the papers I’ve read that measure the physical properties of spider silk have really funny experimental sections where they describe how an “immobilized but conscious” spider is used to collect the silk samples. If I figure out a way to make silk without using spiders, I’ll let ya know. BTW, I’m a polymer chemist if that means anything…

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