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SCI/TECH: Self-Assembled Spider Silk spun in Insect Cells

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posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 09:27 PM
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Isreali researcher Uri Gat from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, with researchers from Germany's Technical University of Munich and UK's Oxford University said they have produced Dragline Silk that matches the chemical resistance aspects of regular natural dragline silk. They achieved this breakthrough by using something called Dragline Synthesis, which for all intents and purposes is self-assembly. The process involves genetically engineering insect cells, by introducing the dragline silk protein genes from the spider Araneus diadematus (European Garden Spider) into an insect-infecting virus called a baculovirus (since Spiders and Insects are both antrhopods it's apparently easier to accomplish their goal). Of the dozens of other type of spider silk, Dragline Silk is the best suited to our needs as it is six times stronger than nylon and steel fiber of equal proportions.
 



www.betterhumans.com
Genetically engineered insect cells have spun spider silk in what could be a significant step towards mass producing super strong and light fibers.

Israeli researcher Uri Gat from Hebrew University in Jerusalem along with researchers at Germany's Technical University of Munich and the UK's Oxford University say that they have produced self-assembled spider silk that matches the chemical resistance characteristics of silk produced by spiders.

"From a practical viewpoint, mass production of fibers, whose diameter is one-thousandth of a millimeter, is likely to be useful in the future for manufacture of bulletproof vests, surgical thread, micro-conductors, optical fibers and fishing rods; even new types of clothing may be envisioned," says Gat.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


These fibers will make bulky Bulletproof vests a thing of the past (provided the ceramic plates inside the kevlar vests are replaced with Nanotube armor). It could also be a major boon to the sagging Tech industries and provide some much needed growth and excitement again. The uses of this novel textile will probably be wide and varied, and a couple of them might be unexpected and sometimes unpleasent. I for one can't wait till I get my bullet proof, 99 % thermal jacket that weighs only a half pound.

[edit on 11-27-2004 by William One Sac]




posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:02 PM
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You know, I was watching something called "The Guide to Spiders" or something recently and it talked about how scientists are trying to do what they apparently succeeded in doing. Pretty incredible.

One thing I thought was facinating is that scientists don't know how a spider makes its silk in its body. The silk before it goes through its spinnerets (the part of the spider where silk is released) is a liquid, but just by passing through this physical aperture it becomes a solid.

Amazing stuff.



posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:51 PM
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Would not the elasticity of the silk be a problem in bulletproof vests?

[edit on 27-11-2004 by Mephorium]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 12:23 AM
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The US is a little ahead of the curve on that one. Mass production is a problem when trying to milk spiders for their silk, so they took the gene responsible for making the silk and put it in a goat. The genetically modified goats produce the silk proteins in their milk. The proteins can then be filtered from the milk in bulk, compared to that of the spider, and spun into thread. George Bush Sr. was provided with jackets made of the stuff to stop bullets. If they had it then, no telling what they have now.

Anyway, old news...



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by CAPT PROTON
The US is a little ahead of the curve on that one. ... George Bush Sr. was provided with jackets made of the stuff to stop bullets. If they had it then, no telling what they have now.




I'm not a Luddite - but I am mighty po'd that hordes of ethically underdeveloped irresponsible bankers get to 'play science' without restraint or regard for consequences. This technology could be used to solve a real crisis - instead it's used for profit, in ways that obviously exacerbate the crisis.

Here's a VERY brief overview.

1) Dangerous bacteria have begun evolving in insects.




"Scientists have evidence that bacteria dangerous to humans have begun evolving in insects, for reasons that are not clear.

The October edition of Nature Reviews: Microbiology reports that invertebrates such as worms and insects may have begun enabling a rapid evolution for bacteria normally not harmful to humans.

Not only are insects capable of delivering disease through bites and stings, they now may be the breeding ground for strains of infectious bacteria never before seen in humans."

Dangerous Bacteria Evolving in Insects
www.unknowncountry.com...


2) Infectious prions use insects, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens as transmission vehicles - which may help explain the "mystery" of how dangerous bacteria now evolve in insects.




“Animal prion infections, such as scrapie (sheep) and "mad cow disease" (cattle), have shown a pattern of horizontal transmission in farm conditions and several ectoparasites have been shown to harbor prion rods in laboratory experiments. Fly larvae and mites were exposed to brain-infected material and were readily able to transmit scrapie to hamsters. New lines of evidence have confirmed that adult flies are also able to express prion proteins. … Several cell types found on the human skin, including keratinocytes, fibroblasts and lymphocytes, are susceptible to the abnormal infective isoform of the prion protein, which transforms the skin to produce a potential target for prion infection.”

Int J Dermatol. 2003 Jun;42(6):425-9. Could ectoparasites act as vectors for prion diseases? Lupi O. Center for Vaccine Development, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX, USA. PMID: 12786866





This 1986 paper describes how "proteinaceous capsids" use viruses as vehicles of transmission, and how RNA interference silences genes.

Schmidt FR, Lemke PA, Esser K (1986) Viral influences on aflatoxin formation by Aspergillus flavus. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 24:248-252





“Epidemiological observations indicate that a microbial vector is responsible for the transmission of natural prion disease in sheep and goats and that the real causative agent may correspond to a structural protein of that microorganism. … A similar phenomenon was already described with a protein antigen of the ameba Naegleria gruberi. The various serotypes of the microbial protein may account for the existence of scrapie strains. It is proposed that many microbial proteins may be capable of replicating themselves in mammalian cells eliciting and sustaining thereby degenerative and/or autoimmune reactions subsequent to infections with microorganisms.”

Med Hypotheses. 1999 Aug;53(2):91-102. Is the pathogen of prion disease a microbial protein? Fuzi M. Budapest Institute of National Public Health and Medical Officer Service, Hungary. PMID: 10532698



...I'll stop now so I don't get penalized for "over-quoting" - but you get the picture.

My beef: How about we figure out what's gone wrong, exactly, BEFORE we use the process to make new bio-products and profits - and muck things up so badly they can't ever be fixed?

PS. This is the same bio-technology that could be used to manufacture flu vaccines inside of weeks - but it's not.

...Priorities - you gotta love 'em.



.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 12:23 PM
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Well you see soficrow, there is this little scam called the free market and free enterprise. Talking about it on the soapbox is gonna have little effect what for-profit companies do with their IP(see monsanto allthough they are getting lawsuits now) I believe that there is a new way of doing things coming round the corner. I preping a post about it and don't wanna give away too much here but it involves the Open Source movement and Creative Commons licencing(allthough I do not know whether there is a patent equivalent)



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I preping a post about it and don't wanna give away too much here but it involves the Open Source movement and Creative Commons licencing(allthough I do not know whether there is a patent equivalent)


Yea Sardion.


Looking forward to it. ...Open Source (computers) aka Open Access (science/medicine) right?
...I did a post a while back about Open Access - with some refs about its status and how it's being used. Might be useful to you.

..Creative Commons licensing is more for copyright, but should cover IP and patents for bio/science in the same way computer code is covered. ...folding@home and the World Community Grid will bring much solidly into the public domain.

...I do think all this stuff is seriously neat (ie., spider silk) - except - I also know what happened back around WWI with the (mis-folded) actin protein... Kinda takes the aw-gee-whiz-wow excitement out of it. Am waging a personal campaign to get prion/actin/fibrosis/amyloid links publicly acknowledged and dealt with. lol



there is this little scam called the free market and free enterprise. Talking about it on the soapbox is gonna have little effect what for-profit companies do with their IP


...sigh. True. But I'm more thinking oversight... If the technology can't be used to benefit humankind, at least stop it from being abused to destroy the world.


.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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...I did a post a while back about Open Access - with some refs about its status and how it's being used. Might be useful to you


Oh you did? Whats the link? I was gonna start a new post about that very subject but why waste board space I'll just add it to yours. Its gonna be more futurist type speculation and what steps we can take to get thier ASAP.



I also know what happened back around WWI with the (mis-folded) actin protein


Heh? What happened in WWI that had to do with protean folding, if it was a complete Feck up im not surprised as our knowledge back then was pretty limited.



Am waging a personal campaign to get prion/actin/fibrosis/amyloid links publicly acknowledged and dealt with.


Well I applaud you if you think its that seroius I however have my doubts still but that is another thread





...sigh. True. But I'm more thinking oversight... If the technology can't be used to benefit humankind, at least stop it from being abused to destroy the world.


The only way I can see this happening is if enough scientists embrace the CC concept and embrace open-source as a way of working with their peers from all around the world with no corporate involvment. I believe there is one such group already, not sure what theyve been up to lately ill try and hunt down the link on ATS search. We the people are behind the capitolists but we can beat them at thier own game without resulting to DOS attacks on servers or stealing IP. Firefox should be the model on which all open source models(wether for software, biotech,or nanotech(nanobot assemblers)) should be based. The clarion call has been sounded and this is a fight I am willing to fight.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000


...I did a post a while back about Open Access - with some refs about its status and how it's being used. Might be useful to you


Oh you did? Whats the link? I was gonna start a new post about that very subject but why waste board space I'll just add it to yours.



...thnx, but not necessary, no responses, boring title. you decide. FYI -

www.abovetopsecret.com...






I also know what happened back around WWI with the (mis-folded) actin protein


Heh? What happened in WWI that had to do with protean folding, if it was a complete Feck up im not surprised as our knowledge back then was pretty limited.



Am waging a personal campaign to get prion/actin/fibrosis/amyloid links publicly acknowledged and dealt with.


Well I applaud you if you think its that seroius I however have my doubts still but that is another thread
.




...It's the same other thread. And yes, it is that serious. Trust me.





...sigh. True. But I'm more thinking oversight... If the technology can't be used to benefit humankind, at least stop it from being abused to destroy the world.


The only way I can see this happening is if enough scientists embrace the CC concept and embrace open-source as a way of working with their peers from all around the world with no corporate involvment. I believe there is one such group already, not sure what theyve been up to lately ill try and hunt down the link on ATS search.


...Yes - something to monitor - maybe on the open access/CC thread.

Interestingly - I found ats while searching for an org I'd heard monitored the responsible use of biotechnology - link brought me here. ...Elsewhere, I discovered the org was part of a game and TV series. lol


.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:27 PM
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Alrighty, I'll post my own topic then, and i'll also do yet more research into the whole prion thing again(but be warned I also have quite a number of friends in various Academic fields who'll be able to confirm or deny these things as I deem them trustworthy, morally acceptable people i might prove to be very argumentative in this case, on the other hand if I can confirm these allegations then I will be a staunch supporter its just how I work I aint no ones patsy
).

[edit on 28-11-2004 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
i'll also do yet more research into the whole prion thing again(but be warned I also have quite a number of friends in various Academic fields who'll be able to confirm or deny these things as I deem them trustworthy, morally acceptable people i might prove to be very argumentative in this case, on the other hand if I can confirm these allegations then I will be a staunch supporter its just how I work I aint no ones patsy
).

[edit on 28-11-2004 by sardion2000]


Cool sardion - and very welcome. ...I will finish my 'synopsis' and post for criticism. ...One of the real difficulties is the wealth of documentation - there is FAR too much, and it's difficult to edit down. I'm dealing with medical documents dating back to 1938 and disciplines that span proteinology to proteomics, genetics to molecular biology, all of the medical specialties, and more. At present I have about 8 gigs, mainly abstracts. Unwieldy. ...Will let you know when I post. Thnx.



.



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by Mephorium
Would not the elasticity of the silk be a problem in bulletproof vests?

[edit on 27-11-2004 by Mephorium]


Elastic is GOOD in Bullet proof vests..

Why?

In the "good ole days" knights would wear silk under their armor to "catch" arrows. The arrow would go through the armor and the skin, but not through the silk so the silk woud be wrapped around the arrowhead and go slightly into the wound... the arrow could then be pulled out again without too much extra trauma.

Same principle involved with bullets you need the fabric to bend with the impact so that its is wrapped around the bullet. There are other mechanisms involved like armor plates to remove some kinetic energy, but the silk deals with penetration.

Imagine a ball hitting a net: the net "catches" the ball. It is not split/torn by the ball letting the ball travel through.

[edit on 29/11/2004 by Corinthas]




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