Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New business opportunities

Hmm, there it is, right in front of me on Google news. "Spider Silk That Conducts Heat as Well as Metals" Wow! This is an organic material. Most don't conduct heat. Who woulda thunk it? Is there a buck to be made? Yes sir re Daddy!
So, here's the gist of the story. Researchers in Iowa have found that spider silk, specifically the "drag line," (sounds like a Vegas variety show) which is the main line that a spider uses to attach his web to trees and things, conducts heat. It conducts heat so well that it beats out copper. The only two things that do better are silver and diamond. Cool!
Even better, when the silk is under stress (stretched to its max 20% increased limit), it conducts up to 19% better. This is just one more thing that adds to the list of spider silk's amazing properties. So, how can we commercialize this?
Well, companies that want to produce spider silk use transgenic goats (hmm, wonder what the GOP's position on that is?). They splice the gene for making spider silk into the goat then milk it. The chemical for the spider silk is in the milk and they squirt it through tiny nozzles to make silk. Really!
They started off with hamsters but that wasn't commercially viable. It wasn't that they didn't get enough material from the hamsters, it was a supply and demand issue. See, the people with hands small enough to milk the hamsters unionized and the price went through the ceiling. So, they went to goats. Bigger handles.
Now, just thinking about these goats scares the crap out of me. Goats are good climbers anyway. Now they're going to be swinging around like Spiderman? Venomous bites? 8 legs, 120 lbs and hairy? (I think I dated her in high school).
Where was I? Oh, yeah, business. Okay, here's the idea. Put this gene into those fainting goats and sell them at Whole Foods. This is what happens:
You buy a goat and take it home. When you want dinner, you set out a bed of coals in your BBQ pit. Feed the goat a load of your favorite herbs, onions and garlic. When done, go over to the goat and hollar "Boo!" The goat faints, rolls over on its back, and squirts its load of milk into the air. The milk lands back on the goat and encases it in heat-conducting spider web stuff. Pick up the whole and place this spider web dutch oven into the coals. Cook for three hours.. Bob's your uncle.
This is the ultimate in cook-at-home takeout. You can dye your brand into the side of the goat (kinda like those Easter chicks that are dyed blue or pink). Ingredient list is easy... Goat. Stays fresh without refridgeration. Awesome. I'm getting hungry.

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