"Kidding Around": Making Spider Goats

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Faculty Mentor

Randolph Lewis


In order to increase the yield and purification efficiency of spider silk proteins in goat milk, improved spider goats are being created. Two newly established methods of genomic editing are being employed to create these goats: CRISPR/Cas9 and TALENs. Both systems can be engineered to create targeted cuts in a genome. The alpha-s2-casein gene is being targeted for gene replacement with spider silk coding genes. The silk coding regions will also contain a poly-histidine tag in order to allow for faster, more efficient purification. The creation of these new spider goats will allow more research to be done regarding spider silk protein applications. The improved goats will also increase the commercialization potential of synthetic spider silk.

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