Sep 17, 2012 Electronics Potential of Spider Silk Featured by BBC
There’s more to silk than glamorous clothing – it could eventually put biodegradable computers on the menu...
Jun 8, 2012 Hitting A Milestone — Two USTAR Teams at Once
At Utah State University, USTAR teams have reached new milestones by working together on genomic research projects resulting in two sets of transgenic twin goats. Double the research — double the fun.
Jan 17, 2012 Synthetic biology and the rise of the 'spider-goats' (from The Guardian)
Freckles looks like a perfectly normal kid. She has bright eyes, a healthy white pelt and gambols happily with Pudding, Sweetie and her five other siblings, exactly as you might imagine young goats do. Until I fend her off, she's very keen on chewing my trousers. To the casual observer, and to goatherds, she shows no signs that she is not a perfectly normal farmyard goat.
Aug 30, 2011 Aggie USTAR Spider Silk Researcher Featured on CNN
Utah State University scientist Randy Lewis is getting a workout on the media circuit as news of his innovative spider silk research reaches all corners of the globe. The USTAR professor, who joined USU’s Department of Biology this past summer, was featured on CNN Newsroom’s The Big I — ideas, innovation, imagination — segment today [Aug. 30] via a live Skype interview from USU’s Logan campus.
Aug 22, 2011 Utah researcher helps artist make bulletproof skin, by Lynn DeBruin, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bio-art project to create bulletproof skin has given a Utah State researcher even more hope his genetically engineered spider silk can be used to help surgeons heal large wounds and create artificial tendons and ligaments.
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Spider Silk

Spider webs are incredibly strong and flexible. It’s no surprise, then, that spider silk proteins may someday form durable artificial ligaments for people who have injured their knees or shoulders.
This research is taking place at Utah State University, under the leadership of a new USTAR professor, Randy Lewis.
Six different kinds of silk are produced by orb-web weaving spiders. These silk fibers have very different mechanical properties that are so effective they have changed very little over millions of years. How to synthetically develop these silks is one focus of Lewis’ research.

The secret to producing large quantities of spider silk is to use “factories” designed to manufacture spider silk proteins that are easily scale-able and efficient.

Lewis uses transgenic goats, E.coli bacteria, transgenic alfalfa and transgenic silk worms to produce the spider silk proteins used to create spider silk.

Spider silk is 100 times stronger than natural ligaments and 10 times stronger than natural tendons; it is stronger than Kevlar and more elastic than nylon.

A web of possibilities