spider goats

782 Words4 Pages
Genetically modified organisms are now common place in agriculture and medicine. Genetically modified organisms also known as GMO’s are organisms that have had genes from another organism implanted into them. Genetic modification has been in use in agriculture to make plants and animals better producers. In the last ten or so years GMOs have begun to develop other new and unusual uses outside of traditional agriculture. One useful thing being researched is creating goats engineered to produce spider silk. Spider silk, specifically silk from the Gold Orb spider, is a very durable natural fiber. It is as strong as steel while being lighter and more flexible (1998 GM Gosline alt). This fiber, if it could be efficiently produced, could be used to produce everything from clothing to artificial tendons. However there are many factors that make spiders difficult to raise efficiently. For a start spiders are very territorial and if not given enough space will kill any other spiders in the area (Miles O’Brien 5/10/10). The need for space makes habitats that would keep the spiders from killing each other were too expensive to make production cost efficient (Jeffery Turner 1/31/2014). Because of these difficulties the only know uses of natural spider silk have been in crafting cross hairs on pre-world war one time guns and a cloak made of golden spider silk which took four years and over 1 million spiders to create. In both of these projects the silk had to be harvested by hand from wild spiders (Haddly Legget 9/23/09). For these reasons scientist have turned to alternative ways to get spider silk. In the late 1990s a biotechnology company called Nexia began research into creating a material they called “Bio-Steel”. Bio-steel was made to be ... ... middle of paper ... ...- the First Spider Goat Clones in Utah." Standard-Examiner. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. Scientists Breed Goats That Produce Spider Silk." Scientists Breed Goats That Produce Spider Silk. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. Legget, Haddly. "1 Million Spiders Make Golden Silk for Rare Cloth | Science | WIRED." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 23 Sept. 2009. Web. O.Brien, Miles. "Research Areas." Nsf.gov. N.p., 03 May 2010. Web. 07 April 2014 Rutherford, Adam. "Synthetic Biology and the Rise of the 'spider-goats'" The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 15 Jan. 2012. Web. 08 May 2014. Fitzpatrick, Michael. "From Spiders, a Material to Rival Kevlar - Fortune Tech." Fortune Tech Technology Blogs News and Analysis from Fortune Magazine RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2014 W, C. "Scientists Map Spider Genome for Silk Production." Cphpost.dk. N.p., 08 Apr. 2014. Web. 08 May 2014
Open Document