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View Diary: Creeptastic: Bacteria that make spider webs! (31 comments)

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  •  Safety Mod (6+ / 0-)

    I would be a lot more comfortable with genetically modified organisms if each of them were also engineered to depend on a couple of rare nutrients for survival, embedded fairly far apart in their DNA. Their growth media would contain those nutrients, or they'd die. Escaping from the media would mean dying, or the very improbable mutation of both the dependency genes. Two dependency genes to make the probability really prohibitive.

    That isn't what genetic engineers do, though, is it. So there is a higher chance that modified organisms will find their way to occupy a niche in the wild, with unforeseen consequences. Like spider webs filling our guts.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 04:16:13 PM PDT

    •  But I do doubt we are going to shit spider silk. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Rosebuddear, Jim Saul

      and its better than getting potatoes to make bio-polymer plastic instead of starch because if you thought constipation hurts now, just wait till you are passing Leggos.

      "Our republic and its press will rise and fall together."-Joseph Pulitzer (Good-by USA)

      by OHdog on Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 04:29:43 PM PDT

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    •  These bugs would be toast... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mem from somerville, G2geek

      ...compared to wild type.  Making spider silk is a HUGE energy drain.  Natural E. coli would kick their butts.

    •  Uh, no (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skralyx, Rosebuddear

      generally there are selection genes in E. coli--so we know which ones there are.

      But we've been doing this with coli for over 30 years now--do you have an example of something untoward in your gut?

      "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

      by mem from somerville on Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 05:06:25 PM PDT

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      •  Morgellons disease finally has an explanation! (3+ / 0-)

        Mutant ninja silk E coli escapes from lab, infected people pull fibers from their skin!

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that it is launching a study to learn about an unexplained condition that causes people to feel as if they have foreign substances growing from their bodies.

        People with the condition, referred to as Morgellons disease, say they have fibers and other inorganic material growing out of their skin.

        "Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied." Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet

        by the fan man on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 05:13:37 AM PDT

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