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Meet Spider Goat*

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:36 PM
  • 19 Replies

Your thoughts ladies...

Meet Spider Goat - the DNA-enhanced web-flinging nanny that may one day knit bones

 

Spider Goat

Professor Randy Lewis said no animals were harmed during the making of spider webs from goat's milk / news.com.au Source: news.com.au

ON a farm in Wyoming, USA, goats are being milked for their spider webs.

And if that sounds bizarre, molecular biologist Randy Lewis claims that within two years, spider silk milked from goats could replace your body's tired or strained tendons and ligaments - maybe even bones.

Professor Lewis and his team at the University of Wyoming have successfully implanted the silk-making genes from a golden orb spider into a herd of goats and are now, finally, producing one of nature's strongest products in useable quantities.

The technology is cutting edge, but the science isn't. Spider silk has been used for centuries to dress wounds with varying degrees of success, but the problem has until now been how to get it.

"We needed a way to produce large quantities of the spider silk proteins," Prof Lewis told news.com.au.

 

"Spiders can't be farmed, so that route is out and since they make six different silks, even that would not work if you could."

Spiders also had a tendency to eat each other, so milking one thread from six out of a solo spider was clearly never going to service the entire human race.

Prof Lewis and his team singled out the "dragline" - the outer strand of the web - as the strongest of the six types of silk.

They spliced the DNA that creates the silk into a female goat's DNA, then waited for it to give birth and start lactating.

"(The splicing) turned out to be relatively easy as there are known gene promoters that only produce expression in the mammary gland during lactation," he said.

"Those were hooked up to our spider silk genes."

After the milk is collected, it's taken back to a laboratory where the silk protein is filtered out. It solidifies when exposed to air and is wound onto a roller.

Prof Lewis said the team collected about four metres of silk for every four drops of protein they gathered.

The pure material had a wide range of medicinal applications as sutures and binding agents - including ligament replacement - but its use could extend well beyond our hospitals.

"If it works, frankly one of the first applications is maybe fishing line," Prof Lewis said.

"I think we will be testing real world applications in less than two years (but) when they reach market is really beyond my control."

And in case you were wondering, no goats were harmed during the making of spider silk milk.

Prof Lewis said there was no evidence to suggest the goats in the experiment behaved any differently to regular goats, in either physiology or "psychology".

One day, the burden could be lifted even from goats.

Prof Lewis said the technology could have farm applications - he told Science Nation they were developing the same technology for alfalfa.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/meet-spider-goat-the-dna-enhanced-web-flinging-nanny-that-may-one-day-knit-your-bones/story-e6frfro0-1225867617374

 




                        


Pink Blondie Glitter Glitters


 

by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:36 PM
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Replies (1-10):
EireLass
by Ruby Member on May. 27, 2010 at 8:28 AM

"Spiders can't be farmed". Ummmm. YES they can. The military research/development installation that my daughter worked at did. All for the purpose of creating new materials for military clothing. 

Jessymessy
by on May. 27, 2010 at 8:30 AM

yea they had that at the base my husband was at too. but ive seen this goatsmilk thing before and I think its interesting

Quoting EireLass:

"Spiders can't be farmed". Ummmm. YES they can. The military research/development installation that my daughter worked at did. All for the purpose of creating new materials for military clothing. 





danie24
by on May. 27, 2010 at 8:44 AM

 Interesting post

bakebiscotti
by on May. 27, 2010 at 8:59 AM

If this is true, which I kind of doubt...it's fucked up.  We shouldn't be screwing with mother nature. 

Lil_ol_me9306
by on May. 27, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Mmmmmmmmm....  Goat cheese Brie.....  Dammit, now I'm hungry..

wilesmomma
by on May. 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM


Quoting danie24:

 Interesting post

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Raintree
by on May. 27, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Um.. I'm never very excited about this kind of thing. 

EireLass
by Ruby Member on May. 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Was he in Natick? 

Quoting Jessymessy:

yea they had that at the base my husband was at too. but ive seen this goatsmilk thing before and I think its interesting

Quoting EireLass:


 

Della529
by on May. 27, 2010 at 12:32 PM

While I can understand the possibilities, I worry about messing with nature.

ashka88
by on May. 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Very interesting! But reading things like this always worries me a little bit.. Seems more science fiction than fact!  :)

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.. ~Buddha~


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