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"Spider Farming Is No Fun. Make Yeast Do the Work" Topic

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372 hits since 24 Mar 2016
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2016 11:55 a.m. PST

"Spiders are not the easiest creatures to farm. Sure, you have the occasional tourist stop silk farm or pet spider breeder, but farming spiders—especially venomous web-building ones—on an industrial scale like chickens? Nope.

OK, you might ask, what could you possibly want to do with so many venomous spiders that is not nefarious? Spider venom is actually chock full of different proteins—some of which can, yes, kill you, but others that can be turned into drugs or insecticides. In other words, spider venom is damn useful. But milking a spider gets you only a thousandth or a hundredth of a milliliter of the stuff. The problem is getting enough of it.

That's where synthetic biology comes in. Instead of milking spiders for venom, scientists can take the gene for a venom protein of interest and stick it inside yeast. The yeast act as little venom protein factories, and they grow and grow without fuss inside a vat. No spiders needed!…"
See here


Tom Bryant25 Mar 2016 12:56 p.m. PST

That's cool! It's a ton easier than first wrangling the spider, handling same, then getting it to give up some of its venom for science.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member31 Mar 2016 6:05 a.m. PST

Yes, but what if the gene escapes into bread, wine and beer yeasts… think of the problems it will cause… wine and beer will no longer be safe to drink…

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