LONDON: As comic book hero Spider-Man fills cinemas with his webby adventures, prepare to meet an equally astonishing creation - Spidergoat.
Cheers VaxoP for the heads up on this story. Scientists have combined the DNA from a goat and spider to create an animal which produces silk that is five times stronger than steel. The fibre, derived from the goats' milk, harnesses the huge strength of silk spun by spiders.
The breakthrough could be worth millions because the silkmilk fibre can be used to make body armour which is far tougher than normal bullet-proof vests – while weighing little more than a cotton shirt.
The hybrid goats were created by the insertion of a single gene from an orb-weaving spider into a fertilised goat egg.
The amazing genetically-engineered goats are outwardly normal, but carry the gene responsible for production of a spider silk protein. Each goat is only 1/70,000th spider, but when fully grown the females produce a milk which can be treated to produce a fibre with spider-silk strength.
The animals are believed to be the first commercially-viable creatures made from the DNA of two species.
Nexia, the Canadian biotech company which produced the goats, hopes the fibre – dubbed Biosteel – could take a large chunk of the billion-dollar market in industrial fibres.
News source: news.com.au