Spider Silk Uses Reported- Mutant GoatSpider They Missed

biosteel-all.jpgbiosteel-goats-bg.jpgThis sucker spins webs.

Medgadget reports on a review of uses of spider silk.  All kinds of neat potential spider-tech uses are mentioned in the article they quote.

“Dr. Randolph V. Lewis from the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, wrote a great review article about spider silk and its multiple possible uses for biomed industry. From the press release that features an interview he gave to the American Chemical Society”

This article does not mention my favorite scary mutant spider product “biosteel”.  I origially heard about this from a talk I attended at a medical meeting by a rep from DARPA (who have a hand in all things amazing and terrifying).  Biosteel is a product made with transgenic technology by Nexia Biotechnologies.  In short, the gene for spider-dragline-silk (the long toughest but non-sticky thread they use to drop to the ground in emergencies) has been transfected into goats.  Yes goats.  Then these mutant genetic chimera animals excrete the spider silk protein by the bucketful in their milk.  Yes its true. 

The company reportedly has been having difficulties spinning the stuff into usable forms and progress as been behind schedule.  You can imagine where this (and the DARPA connection) is going – flexible wearable armor made of the strongest fabric even known.  Spiderman did not need Kevlar. 

In medicine, there are many potential uses I can imagine- all kinds of joint and tendon replacements, ligaments, heart valves, cut-proof surgeon gloves, etc.  See my follow-up post on the technology behind this and how it can be used to make a spider-man.

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