We are like natural historians of the spider genome and we are trying to figure out exactly the genetic blueprints for making that silk.

Cheryl Hayashi, University of California, Riverside

In this episode of TechKnow, we look at the unlikely combination of goats and spiders, and the transgenic search that might help us harvest spider silk.

Spiders are among nature's most masterful architects, genius at structural design. Their silk - though just a fraction of the size of a human hair - is stronger than steele.

Now a spider lab at the University of California, Riverside is isolating the black widow's silk gene to decipher the blueprint that creates the material.

Contributor Phil Torres meets researchers there who have isolated the spider silk gene and inserted it into a goat to produce synthetic spider silk.

We also look at GM manufacturer Monsanto, that is using traditional crossbreeding techniques to develop new varieties of fruit and vegetables - but with a difference.

Monsato is using the technology they developed in their genetically modified programmes to speed up Mother Nature.

Marita Davison finds out that the results are 'super veggies' and 'super fruits' which are being developed to be more nutritious and have more flavour.

Source: Al Jazeera