Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

"Kidding" Around: Making Spider Goats

Class

Article

Department

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Randy Lewis

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Spider silk has mechanical properties that surpass most man-made materials. These mechanical properties, which are due to a combination of strength and extensibility, can be tailored to a large variety of uses, ranging from tissue regeneration matrices to bulletproofing. Orb web weaving spiders produce six types of silk and all of them are difficult to obtain in large quantities naturally. It is necessary to develop artificial spider silk mimetics from recombinant spider silk proteins produced in other organisms to fully explore and harness the attractive properties of silk. Some of the organisms that have been used for large scale silk production include E. coli, plants, and goats. Two of the major obstacles for producing silk in these hosts are the quantity and ease of extraction of silk. To address these obstacles in a goat, new systems for creating transgenic goats are being used. Genetic modification systems are being designed that will facilitate multiple cuts in the goat genome to replace the coding region of one of the naturally-occurring milk proteins (αs2-casein) with the coding sequence for a spider silk protein. The spider silk insert also contains a His-Tag coding region that will be used to easily and efficiently purify the protein from the goat milk.

Start Date

4-9-2015 3:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 3:00 PM

"Kidding" Around: Making Spider Goats

Spider silk has mechanical properties that surpass most man-made materials. These mechanical properties, which are due to a combination of strength and extensibility, can be tailored to a large variety of uses, ranging from tissue regeneration matrices to bulletproofing. Orb web weaving spiders produce six types of silk and all of them are difficult to obtain in large quantities naturally. It is necessary to develop artificial spider silk mimetics from recombinant spider silk proteins produced in other organisms to fully explore and harness the attractive properties of silk. Some of the organisms that have been used for large scale silk production include E. coli, plants, and goats. Two of the major obstacles for producing silk in these hosts are the quantity and ease of extraction of silk. To address these obstacles in a goat, new systems for creating transgenic goats are being used. Genetic modification systems are being designed that will facilitate multiple cuts in the goat genome to replace the coding region of one of the naturally-occurring milk proteins (αs2-casein) with the coding sequence for a spider silk protein. The spider silk insert also contains a His-Tag coding region that will be used to easily and efficiently purify the protein from the goat milk.