Scientists in Canada have genetically modified goats with spider genes so that they produce a unique milk that can be turned into the same super-strong silk that spider webs are made of.
Pretty interesting, I thought, so I did a little googling.
BBC News, August, 2000: "Using techniques similar to those used to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec have bred goats with spider genes."
Biocritics Magazine, May, 2007: "In 1998, Nexia implanted a single spider gene into the egg of a goat, which led to the birth of a healthy female goat named Willow. After Willow became a mother herself, the milk she began to produce contained a special silk protein which was used to create BioSteel...After the initial tests proved successful, the project moved forward. Today, several of these goats live on a special farm in Plattsburgh, New York." (BioSteel is what Nexia is calling their spider-goat's-milk silk.)
www.allfibrearts.com, July, 2004: " 'Nexia has decided to refocus fibre development towards biopolymer sales and specialized nano-scale fibre applications for spider silk and away from traditional fibres and yarns. This decision was prompted by the emerging interest in nanofibres and by the ongoing technical challenges of producing bulk, cost competitive spider silk fibres with superior mechanical properties, especially strength.' "
Shucky darns. I was looking forward to knitting a goat's-silk garment.
I wonder, if the BioSteel gets wet, does it smell like wet goat or wet spider?