Got spider-goat milk?

Biotechnology blunders in the age of cloning

by Amy Bowler - Published on Monday, February 11, 2002

       Biotechnology—good or evil? Recently, a friend told me of a story featured on the CBS Evening News about goats being bred with spiders to create bulletproof vests. Obviously, he was mildly intoxicated at the time and I didn't believe him right off—the physics of it just didn't work for me. That would have to be one big spider or one tiny goat.

Later, I checked it out on and what do you know, he was right. Spider-goats—the latest in biotechnology. Granted, some lucky little spider and goat didn't "breed" exactly, but my friend had the basics down.

A company called Nexia has managed to put a spider gene into goats. The "spider-goats" (honest to God, that's what CBS called them) produce milk with a silk protein that is so strong and lightweight that the U.S. Army wants to make bullet proof vests out of it.

Now, I believe in technology and bettering the world we live in, but there's something missing from this happy little feature story that bothers me tremendously: All this spider gene does is make a silk protein in the goat's milk? Are we sure there are no other side effects? All I can picture are tiny eight-legged goats spinning spider webs. And with this I have a problem.

As our nation debates the rights and wrongs of human cloning, perhaps we should broaden our views to include animal rights as well. I've never been a particularly vocal animal rights advocate, but this is getting out of hand. Do you think Dolly the cloned sheep doesn't have some identity issues? I bet she does. And these spider-goats are even worse off... Am I goat? Am I a sheep? What the hell am I?

And we all know this won't be the end of it. Great, we can make super-strong silk. Fine. But what about when some comedian scientist decides to make giraffe-aardvarks or something. Zoos and circuses around the world will be hiring bioengineering companies to make freak-show animals and cart them around for people to laugh at.

Regulations must be set before these things happen. The government must look ahead, consider the possibilities, find out what scientists are considering and set regulations on how far they are allowed to go.


My note: This world is really getting sick and crazy!

     Gene Wars Only a Few Years Away, Say Doctors    Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy

The Trojan Horse of Genetically Modified Food

Playing God with Chimeras

Coming Gene Wars

Got Spider Goat Milk?

Spider Goats

The Thing!

Mad Scientists!

Transgenics and Transvestites

Making Genetic Monsters

Transgenic Cats

Transgenic Pigs


Outrage at "Frankenstein" Animal Experiments

Transgenic Pigs End Up as Chicken Feed

Genetic Engineering: Playing God?

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (stem cell research, cloning, etc.)

Transgenic Chickens

Transgenic Sheep

Molecular Trojan Horses

Kluwer Transgenic Research

The Stanford Transgenic Research Facility

'Trojan Gene' Could Wipe Out Fish!

Transgenic Research Reagents

Disturbing Possibilities - A Human Cow!

The Biotech Harvest

The Coming Food Shortage!

Controlling the World's Food - Seeds of Deception!

Chimeras, Cloning and Freak Human-Animal Hybrids (mutants)

A Spinach Pig

Vegetable (edible) Vaccinations

Designer Babies

End of the World?

This will be every transgenic cat's dream, glow in the dark mice.  Don't think for one moment that fluorescent humans aren't around the corner, mark my'll see it, along with spider humans and every other godless monstrosity of mad scientists.  Man's good intentions are often a Pandora's box.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Transgenic Cats
Every single transgenic animal of any species born so far has had genetic defects that scientists admit they cannot predict and that seem to adhere to no pattern. Transgenic animals are being born with lungs that don't inflate, for example. Others can't stand up. Most—98 percent—abort their fetuses. Researchers are driven by money, not ethics. They have no idea what will happen to cats if they remove the genes that cause sneezing in people. Those genes are there for a reason, and tinkering causes physiological and immune system problems that researchers admit they can neither anticipate nor control.

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so." -Genesis 1:24

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