Thursday, October 12, 2006

Backyard Biology

I found this spider busily prepping her lunch in my backyard this morning. After a 3-minute search on www.whatsthatbug.com, I've decided it's a green lynx spider. Never seen one before!

David Kaplan at Tufts and his colleagues are using genes for spider silk protein and genes for the protein that aquatic diatoms use to make their silica exoskeleton. When the genes are inserted into bacteria, their products combine to make a strong AND stiff molecule that could be used to guide replacement bone growth. Read a short article here, or check out the Tufts bioengineering program here.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

....I KNOW IT'S SUPPOSE TO BE INTERESTING--and it is, but this image doesn't help me get over my fear of spiders.

Hannah Y
(Fri 1)

Elysia said...

I saw a similar-looking spider on the balcony of my dorm earlier this week! I don't think it's the same spider though. I'd really like to see how spiders can help out with bone replacements.

Elysia C.
(Fri 11)

Anonymous said...

My friend found a green lynx spider in her back yard too. I agree with Hannah that the image doesn't help get over your fear, and it looks worse in person.

Christine O.
(Fri 1)

Anonymous said...

I find this very interesting. It would be a great breakthrough if we could in the future replace bones with some way or form representing the components of a spiders web. This article also reminds me of a spider my roomate and i saw outside our window making a web.

Paayal B.
(Fri. 13)

Anonymous said...

OH!..i accidently put the date below my name instead of the time of discsuion. Instead of thirteen, it should be 2.

Paayal B.
(Fri. 2)

Anonymous said...

spiders are really interesting. i once saw one catch a bee and wrap it up in a web

Anonymous said...

spiders are cool was my last comment,

brian chen (fri)

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty gross spider, but nothing is more gross than the praying mantis. I heard, while the female is having sex with the male, it bites male's head off and eats it so it can't reproduce with other females. But, the male has a second brain in its abdomen, i think, so it could finish reproducing with the female before it dies. It's also really really really ugly.

Lisa Li

Anonymous said...

Ops, I forget...

(Fri 13)
Lisa Li

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that science creates miraculous possibilities that benefits society from disgusting creepy crawlers? When I first glanced at this entry, the picture of the spider freaked me out and intrigued me. I really want to learn more about this case. And Lisa, your comment just made me turn green after eating my lunch haha

Julie P (Fri 1)