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back to article New GM worms mean large scale spider-silk production

Scientists in Indiana have announced success in producing a genetically modified abomination-style combo creature which is part spider and part silkworm. They believe that their creation will be handy for the production of next-generation bulletproof vests, among other things. The cunning thing about the new arachno-worms is …

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Space elevator

and about time too.

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No kidding.

Two words:

Orbital Tether. Beyond just the elevator, it coudl offer a non-microwave means of providing stable orbit-to-earth energy. Bring it on!

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Project failed

The worm's larvae couldn't break out of their cocoon anymore, so procreation halted.

Scientists are now looking for ways to clone the worm.

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I, for one would like to welcome our new arachno-worm overlords!

This.

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JDX
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Photos?

Not sure I will like them though...

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Stop

no thanks!

the arachnaphobes amoungst us will thank you to keep your horrifying gristly images of eight-legged worms with drooling manibles to yourself, thankyouverymuch!!!

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Badgers

Re: Photos? Is SpiderGoat good for you?

Be afraid!

http://www.physorg.com/news194539934.html

Not actually Badgers. SpiderGoats™

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Flying spiders

So when the moth emerges from the chrysalis (assuming that it will be strong enough now) will it have fangs and eight eyes and 64 knees as well as wings and spinnerets.

I don't mind moths and I don't mind spiders when they are not too close or on my bedroom ceiling at bedtime. But frankly the thought of flying spiders is a bit more than scarey.

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Rob
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Don't read this then...

... some spiders already fly in a sense, they shoot a strand of web into the air which catchs air current and they float off to a new location, I can't remember if it's breed specific though.

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and

they'll be bulletproof.

I think I'll commit suicide

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Pirate

another comic book hero nears reality

Referring to The Spider of course, not that namby pamby US creation.

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Joke

Milking spiders??

Between which set of legs would you put the stool??

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Where would you put the stool??

If I bumped into a spider big enough to be hand milked I think I know between which legs the stools would be!

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Milking spiders?

You can milk anything with nipples, Greg.

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While we're on that note...

Do they have the technology to create spiderman yet?

The next film would certainly be more realistic.

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jai
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with great power comes great......

not sure if there's a movie franchise in a story about a kid that gets bitten by a radioactive worm and gains the ability to move, quite slowly, through mud and can re-grow himself when he gets chopped in half by a garden spade by his old aunty in a case of mistaken identity

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Spider Silk Undies

lethal wedgies.

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FAIL

How *many* times have this been tried?

First time I heard it was through bacteria, then goats milk, now works.

This *might* be more workable as the creature is geared up to produce silk already. The physical state of what has been produced so far has *always* been a key issue.

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Vaguely disturbing

But not nearly as much as the previous plan to cross spiders with GOATS. (I kid you not.)

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Go Irish!

Look for the next football caper to be web-thin invisible screens blocking the opponent's goal-line and -post. Whatever it takes to win.

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Huzzah for science

One other barrier to "farming" the super-silkworms in certain places occurs to me, though: UK and EU regulations restricting GMO farming. Or are those worded so as only to apply to plants?

I can already visualize Mr. Page's column from ten years hence, railing against crushingly expensive attempts to produce super-silk vests in some other way, rather than just buy cheap ones from the Yanks...

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bulletproof, flying spiders

Here in Oz we have all kinds of lethal arachnids.

But I'm sure someone will have signed a bit of paper to say they promise not to let any escape.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Goat silk - got a silk carpet on my living room floor

Goats have been producing silk in their milk for several years. I have a spider silk carpet on my living room floor - made in Belgium - under foot right now. Quite a nice carpet really and not expensive.

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"Goats have been producing silk in their milk for several years"

Indeed they have but the yield is ~~1g/litre of milk and the product needs chromatography to purify it and seems to be used for very high performance (expensive) applications.

Are you sure your carpet isn't mohair - the silky fabric from Angora goats

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Boffin

@Chemist

"Goats have been producing silk in their milk for several years"

You mean someone actually got this to market as a *commercial* product?

Who knew

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Get Smart

Oh no. Somebody actually watched that film in its entirety? It must be among the worst scripted, and most unconvincingly acted films I have seen in a long time. Even the bits which were obviously meant to be funny somehow would leave you thinking: "What the heck is going on? Is the director passed out in a corner?" Which was quite surprising, considering it had so many promising names among its cast.

Where is that Selective Memory Erasing Device. *cringe*

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Anonymous Coward

As long as

they make sure these things can't survive in the wild. We've made enough errors with that as is.

Otherwise, I'd like to see the product.

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Self limiting

: they make sure these things can't survive in the wild. We've made enough

: errors with that as is.

I think the concept might well be internally self limiting. If the silk is that much stronger, as mentioned above, the adult won't be able to get out of the cocoon :-)

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@P.Lee

In Oz you have frikking spiders that EAT FRIKKING BIRDS!!!!!

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2008/10/23/11601_local-news.html

It just ain't right.

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