Got Silk? or Spidergoats.


There is a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine this morning, entitled: Got Silk. The Article is a report on a goat farm in Canada, that specializes in breeting goats which have been genetically altered, (They are now 1/70,000 Spiders!) to produce Spider silk. (I am not kidding.) Spidersilk is about 5 times stronger than steel, and so it is the perfect material for, letís say, bullet proof vests. (Hmm). The spider silk is part of the milk these goats produce and is not really detectable until extracted from the milk. (See Slideshow) The goats are part of a new trend in genetic Engineering that tries to farm products produced my animals, rather than harvesting the animals themselves. (Moving away from the featherless chickens with four legs, towards the spidersilk producing happy African Goat.) So the goats are treated much better than your average goat and they are not killed in order to receive their product. Letís hope this trend leads us back to times when duck-breath used to heal too, and not just chicken soup.
This here is a temporary post. I will write more about the article later, once I get back to my library at home.


More interesting still, are the ramifications for architecture (if I may say so). I remember posting about the same story some time ago...with links to other new fangled materials. Though, you must admit, it is somewhat obscene, a poor goat with spider silk...I just don't know how I feel about all that.

PS You missed the best part in your japanese link below: Cherry Seeds

I've heard surgeons use silk to mend and stich up wounds. This is a good discovery indeed :)

duck breath heals ?
in what way ?


Thanks for this post. I would have missed it. I think this is a fantastic development, and I don't really care too much about any morality issues of farm-raised goats. I think this company is in the "must-invest-in" category! The sheer number of behavior altering applications that this material can be used for is staggering. The body armor alone would change the way soldiers operate. The medical applications such as tendon replacement or simple stitching, as T mentioned, could change the way modern surgery is done. This is the first super useful (non-food production) way I have heard of DNA alteration working. I am inspired. How long does it take to become a DNA research scientist?

I found it quite interesting that in history people actually used spider silk from real spiders. The ďonlyĒ problem was the quantity. The article goes further to explain that there were attempts to farm spiders, but that they are predators and just ate each other. The entire story really sounds like a science fiction thing. I guess we now have officially entered the 21st century.

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on June 16, 2002 10:39 AM.

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