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Thread: Hybrid Spider Goats

  1. #1 Hybrid Spider Goats 
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    What do you get when you cross a spider with a goat? It sounds like it should be the start of a joke, but the spider goat project reflects just one of many disturbing genetic hybridisation projects.

    Click link for full article

    http://www.scienceray.com/Biology/Zo...r-Goats.519813[/url]


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    I don't see how this is disturbing, stuff like this is done on a daily basis.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    You would think they would focus on genetically engineering the largest most productive spider possible rather than a goat.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  5. #4  
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    it's probably not really related to making a productive anything; instead, it's probably trying to jam two random not too closely related animals together and see what pops out.


    Oh, it finally loaded for me. Yeah, it's all about silk. Their silk is crazy useful, but not farmable at this time...until science wins!
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    They're not talking about an Island of Doctor Marleau type hybrid here, they're just trying to get a few genes of one species to be expressed in another.

    We do this all the time with bacteria, human insulin is produced for pharmaceutical purposes by bacteria.
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  7. #6  
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    Still spider-goat does spark the imagination.

    If I'm not mistaken we already grow and widely market tomatoes that contain antifreeze protein via arctic flounder gene. One might imagine the salsa tastes fishy.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Yes and several plants are being grown that express Bacillus thuringiensis exotoxin genes to act as built in pesticides. (B. thuringiensis is only poisonous to insects luckily)
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  9. #8  
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    I do not think allowing such genetic modifications to products we would then suddenly release is wise. Plants, for example, would spark the need for faster evolution in animals or insects. Potentially creating deadly variants in small amounts of time, or just generally worse pests. If you want to go the prevention road, you might as well just build your city inside of a glass dome and only allow USEFUL insects inside.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I do not think allowing such genetic modifications to products we would then suddenly release is wise. Plants, for example, would spark the need for faster evolution in animals or insects. Potentially creating deadly variants in small amounts of time, or just generally worse pests. If you want to go the prevention road, you might as well just build your city inside of a glass dome and only allow USEFUL insects inside.
    Considering the complex interrelated natures of most plant insect associations, how exactly does one define a "useful insect"??
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  11. #10  
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    Useful to humanity. That's easily enough done. Bee's and spiders are definitely high on the list. Spiders, if "farmed", would provide a lot of spider silk. Bee's provide honey, which is infinitely useful. The list goes on. USELESS insects are those such as misquito's, which only serve to annoy humans. Others include locusts.

    In a full ecosystem it's very important for these "useless to humans" species to be preserved, of course, but I'm imagining an enclosed area that separates humanity from the outside environment.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    a glass dome and only allow USEFUL insects inside.
    It's called a greenhouse.


    Many GM crops are actually high-yield wimps that need a ton of pesticide. It's a bit of a scam, for the same guys who push the seed also sell the chemical life-support to maintain it.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    It's called a greenhouse.
    Don't be obtuse. I highly doubt that a dome separating an entire city from an external environment would qualify as a "greenhouse". Or do you go out of your way to try and make me sound stupid?

    Many GM crops are actually high-yield wimps that need a ton of pesticide. It's a bit of a scam, for the same guys who push the seed also sell the chemical life-support to maintain it.
    Indeed, this is quite a scam. I personally would believe it first hand, but I'm neurotic about evidence. Please present some reading material.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  14. #13  
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    The monstrous example is Monsanto, which jealously guards exclusive rights to glyphosate AKA Roundup™, and a slew of Roundup Ready™ crops. It's kinda hard to find material that isn't eco/anti-multinational ranting though. Wikipedia on a good day.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Bt plants work quite well, most pest insects are already resistant to chemical pesticides, so GM plants with insect resistance genes combined with biological pesticides with a touch of chemical pesticides is the rule of the day. The theory being if you hit insects with enough stuff you should get 100% death and thus no selective pressure for resistance.

    The old theory that a reservoir where no pesticides were used could provide susceptibility genes and prevent resistance genes from becoming prevalent in insect populations has been very much ineffective.

    As for a giant dome, well we don't have the ability to build giant isolated domes around agricultural fields, but we can make poisons so that's what we do.
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  16. #15  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Useful to humanity. That's easily enough done. Bee's and spiders are definitely high on the list. Spiders, if "farmed", would provide a lot of spider silk. Bee's provide honey, which is infinitely useful. The list goes on. USELESS insects are those such as misquito's, which only serve to annoy humans. Others include locusts.

    In a full ecosystem it's very important for these "useless to humans" species to be preserved, of course, but I'm imagining an enclosed area that separates humanity from the outside environment.
    So what does one do with those crops, eg tomatoes, which are not pollinatable by Apis species, and what happens if/when your bees succumb to Colony collapse disorder?

    Also what does one feed the spiders you are farming? Come to that What memeber of the arachnid order Araneae are you referring to anyway, what with ~111 Families, and ~40,000 species there are a lot to choose from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum

    Also what does one feed the spiders you are farming? Come to that What memeber of the arachnid order Araneae are you referring to anyway, what with ~111 Families, and ~40,000 species there are a lot to choose from.
    Easy, just start breeding insects. A colony of roaches in a 29 gallon tank can yeild around 10 000 indidivuals at a steady rate- I fed roughly 20 lizards daily from them. If you scale them up, it's pretty easy to feed a large amount of spiders with the 3rd instar or so.

    And to think, all you have to feed all those roaches is produce that has gone bad from a grocery store.
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