Spider Goats Give Silk Milk - The Future Is Now With Genetic Engineering
[c.2000 McClure & Trowbridge Publishing, Nash TN]
Silk has superior strength and durability, but spider web is the strongest material known. Genghis Khan's armies used silk in their armour to help stop arrows. The next generation of contemporary armour may use spider silk to stop bullets.
Silk is harvested from silk worms, grown en masse. Spiders, however, are territorial and cannot be raised in large numbers, so bioengineers at Nexia Biotechnologies imprinted a spider silk gland gene into a goat's mammary gland, resulting in a goat that secretes spider silk.
The spider silk protein is separated from the goat milk and spun into a fiber, just like a spider spins its web from the protein. Nexia has a herd of twenty bioengineered spider goats, each of which produces spider silk equivalent to 10,000 spiders. "A silk cable as thick as your thumb would be able to haul down a jet fighter" Nexia claims.
[Bunjan Sinha, PopSci 10.2000]
"With flowers You paint,
O Giver of Life!
With songs You give color."
-- NEZAHUALOYOTL (1402 - 1472), NAHUATL FLOWER SONGS