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Goats Making Spider Silk

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Zoe Sloan

on 2 February 2014

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Transcript of Goats Making Spider Silk

Goats Making Spider Silk
Zoe Sloan
Possible Applications for Spider Silk
An alternative to Kevlar
Ropes and Nets
Seat belts and car airbags
Biodegradable bottles
Artificial ligaments and tendons
Wear resistant clothing
The Issues With Harvesting Silk
It would take 400 hundred spiders to produce a square yard of cloth.
Spiders are very territorial and highly aggressive.
Spiders are also cannibals so will eat each other when they are in close proximity.
Also when silk is exposed to air it hardens and becomes very difficult to work with.
Spider Goats
Obtaining the Silk
When goats are lacting they are milked by a vaccum.
The milk is frozen.
It is then put through a machine to separate the silk proteins.
The proteins are then put in another machines that spins them into silk fibers.
Properties of Spider Silk
5 times stronger than steel of the same diameter.
Almost as strong Kevlar
Finer than a human hair
Can keep its strength at temperatures of -40°C.
Elastic - can be stretched 2-4 times the original length without being broken.

Nexia Biotechnologies put the spider silk gene into the mammary glands of goats.
The silk gene is inserted into a single cell goat embryo.
As the embryo grows and the cell divides all cells will have the gene.
Not all goats end up with gene.
The main reasons that this is opposed is due to the number of goats that are killed.
75% of new born goats are killed because the facility doesn't have the funds to keep them all.
It is against the law that any goat that is genetically modified to leave the facility.

Success of the Product
Full transcript