The purpose of this web site is to inform the public on the topic of spider silk. But this is no ordinary spider silk for it is created by spider goats instead of arachnids. The site is intended for people involved in scientific matters as well as for the benefit of anyone who finds the topic interesting. Be aware that this site includes information on genetic alterations. A part of the audience may oppose this type of genetic alteration, but keep in mind that the purpose of this site is to inform and not to promote. The objectives are to heighten the awareness of the public about the subject of spider goats and to educate them on the process of obtaining spider silk.
The words “spider goat” brings unique and disturbing images to the mind of any person. These images sometimes include a strange looking goat with eight appendages, hanging from the ceiling by a long spider thread. Unlike the fictional superhero Spider Man, spider goats do exist in real life. Although spider goats do not dress up in costumes to keep their identities a secret and do not use their spider threads to swing from skyscrapers and save innocent lives, they are still heroes because of the benefits they can provide to humankind. Therefore, the research and production of spider goats should be expanded.
According to Dr. Randolph Lewis, who has over twenty years of research on spider silk, spider goats are also known by their more scientific name, transgenic goats. Spider goats are not exactly what their name implies. They are average, friendly, grass loving goats with no visible abnormalities that distinguish them from normal goats (Jones). Spider goats do not have eight legs, they only have four legs. More importantly spider goats do not produce spider silk to hang from the ceiling like spiders do. What they do produce are special proteins in their milk. These special proteins can be processed to make various types of spider silks (Lewis).
The beneficial uses of spider silk are unbelievable, and to think that all of these great ideas came from creepy, tiny spiders.