Geoffrey Fattah
Deseret News
July 7, 2011

LOGAN — Utah State University professor Randy Lewis’s goats look and behave like most other goats: They nibble on alfalfa and, if you’re not careful, they might nibble on your clothes. But these goats could hold the key to revolutionizing everything from tendon replacements and stronger parachutes to safer airbags.

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How can these goats achieve such amazing things? Lets just say, they have a little bit in common with comic book legend Peter Parker.

Lewis’s goats are transgenic, meaning they have two key genes that allow a spider to weave their silk inserted into their genetic code. The result is goats that produce milk that contain spider silk proteins.

Nicknamed “spider man” by his fellow USU scientists, Lewis’ first-of-its-kind research has gained him international attention. His work has been featured in top science journals as well as National Geographic and Time magazines. He was also featured on PBS’s NOVA and the Discovery Channel. He has been featured on European television and more recently in Canada.

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