Best of Fish & Bicycles: I know! We can combine a spider with…a goat!

Originally Published: June 1, 2010

Listen, I’m not anti-science and I very much support stem cell research and I think it’s possible that genetic engineering might be able contribute something useful to humanity, but…

…mostly I’m scared.

Ecouterre reports:

Prized for its off-the-charts elasticity and strength, spider silk has an abundance of untapped potential, from artificial ligaments and tendons to bulletproof vests. The trick is amassing enough raw material. While spider farms are not unknown, the eight-legged critters have a tendency to kill one another…

With his team of researchers, Randy Lewis, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Wyoming developed a way to splice the spider’s silk-making genes into goats, so the protein can be harvested from their milk. “When the goats have kids, and they start lactating, we collect the milk, and we can purify that spider silk protein in much, much higher quantities.”

Ecouterre says this sounds like the premise of a made-for-TV Sci-Fi movie, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen this flick already:

A scientist nearing a breakthrough has his funding cut off by impatient investors demanding results. The scientist has not been given approval by the government to test his work, and so, in a desperate attempt to prove that his theories are correct and win back the investors, he conducts secret experiments with a goat. During the experiments, an unexpected lightning storm produces a powerful surge of electricity to the laboratory, a dangerous creature is produced, and innocent people die.

There was even a theme song:

Spider Goat, Spider Goat, does whatever a Spider Goat does…

I don’t like scary movies, and it’s even scarier that this transgenic spider goat hybrid is real!

Makes me remember news from last year that scientists have grown meat in a laboratory. A movie about that could turn me into an agoraphobe.

One thought on “Best of Fish & Bicycles: I know! We can combine a spider with…a goat!

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