Scientists Create New Spider Goats That Can Produce Spider Silk to Make Bullet Proof Vests
Wouldn’t you like to have a skin of silk that is as strong as superman, that isn’t just a thing of the movies or some fantasy? Such an object has been created by a team of artists in collaboration with a Dutch Artist who have created a skin so strong it is also bulletproof. It seems a thing of fantasy much like the armor of Frodo in LOTR. This is a scientifically proven project made from extraordinary silk called spider silk acquired from the spider goat.
1Spider Silk skin made from bio engineered goats
The super silk skin consists of bio-engineered skin cells that have been reinforced with a synthetic layer of spider silk lying between two cells like a sandwich. The spider silk was acquired from a genetically engineered spider goat and believe it or not, the silk is produced from the milk of the goat which can be used to make bulletproof skin.
2It is thinner than hair but stronger than steel
Spider webs have always been a mystery for scientists and there have been many attempts to create synthetic spider webs with some measure of success. Randy Lewis a genetics engineer has created the spider goats which is a goat that possesses spider’s genes. Call it a case of mad science, but it has produced something fantastic. Earlier, it had taken one such experiment, a million orb spiders and 70 human workers and 4 years to make just an 11 by 4 feet tapestry in 2009 which is now an exhibit in the American Natural History Museum.
3Spider silk is stronger than Kevlar
Spider silk is extremely strong, especially dragline silk which is even stronger than Kevlar. It also has the lightness and elasticity of nylon. The exhibit was an attempt of four years to reproduce it. Genetic engineering has proved a success in producing it from a goat. Professor Randy Lewis a molecular biologist who was attached at Wyoming University at the time was approached by a Canadian company to research and find alternatives to spider silk. He went one step ahead. He instead decided to produce skin made from the spider goat silk.
4The study was continued in Utah University
Professor Lewis created Spider Goats instead. These were goats that had been genetically modified with spider genes. The Canadian company closed down in 2009 but Professor Lewis who moved to Utah University carried on the work raising spider goats in the University farm. In fact, the goats began thriving.