I'm not even putting a poll widget on this one. It's as creepy* as it is true: BioSteel
They milk goats who have been genetically combined with spiders to form a super strong, super light weight spider silk material within the milk which is then used for a variety of applications. The goats also have been altered to lactate at an earlier age to speed production. Because, darn it, who wants to wait that long for the spidergoats to lactate?
Here's a quote from the Nexia Biotechnologies homepage. Read it word by word, slowly, and chew on each morsel. Now spit it out... quickly! Rinse. Repeat.
BioSteel® is Nexia's recombinant dragline spider silk program and is based on using Nexia's transgenic goat technology.
I'm fine through the first three words, except for "BioSteel" and "Nexia". Now I'm going to translate** the rest of the words in order as it dives deeper into the creepiness:
Recombinant: Moving and rearranging genes from one place to another. Not creepy by itself, except that they are talking about rearranging genes, not from one animal to another, but from one major taxonomic classification to another. This is not species level stuff. It is kingdom level fiddling. Never a good idea if you ask me.
Dragline: The larger and stronger of the spider web components. Used to anchor the rest of the web. And speaking of anchoring something that shouldn't go adrift, did you just see that whispy thread of common sense float by?
Spider: Large insect*** with horrible fangs and claws. That's right, they're combining Shelob (an "evil thing in spider form") with Pan. That's going to be one messed up flute player. Tolkien would not be happy. Nor Hariprasad Chaurasia.
Silk: Technical, jargony mad-scientist term for spider webs. And soy milk.
Program: Plot to destroy the planet by combining wildly divergent life forms such as Spiders & Goats to make BioSteel. In a few years the "program" will roll out these combos: Slug/Lobster, Porcupine/Bat, and Tick/Whale, and Teletubby/MyLittlePony.
And: In addition to. Also. See what I mean? There's way more ahead, the hits keep coming.
Is: Current fact. Inevitable, unchangeable, inalterable.
Based: Grounded. Founded upon. C'mon, it's not founded on anything but a rip off of every Marvel Comic plot. This is a shoe-in for the presitigious "Scientific Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong Award".
On: Atop of. Over. Or, if you will, over the top.
Using: Ingesting large amounts of phychotropic drugs, causing one to: A) Think of the idea in the first place; and B) Think the idea was good.
Nexia: Acronym for "Never Ending Xperiment In Absudity"
Transgenic: Creepy craziness crossdressing in the garments of the rational.
Goat: Large hairy insect*** that eats tin cans. "Goat" is a word, that according to all laws of nature, was never meant to be followed by the next word below:
Technology: Random and dangerous throw-it-up-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks experimentation. Of the type performed by kids who survived the "Hey-Jimmy-let's-mix-all-these-random-household-cleaners-from-under-the-sink-then-light-it-on-fire" episodes of childhood.
Nuff said. Poll closed.
The Fine Print
*Unless Nexia makes really cool, super-strong, super-light backpacking gadgets that lighten my load. In that case. I'm all for it!
**Bear in mind that the only translating experience I have is a few years of high school Spanish and a few months of Patagonian charades with my field assistant, Igor, from Santiago. So if I were a Babel Fish, you should definitely not cram me into your ear canal. Gregarious mistakes should be expected in any translational work from me. I'm sure that a genetic engineer is going to correct me on my "recombinant" definition, an arachnologist will "tsk" me for the dragline flub.
***I know they're not insects. I'm just raising the cackles of the arachnological community. Nice cackles ya'll!