Bilal Saad

United Nation member

This conversation is closed.

Can we make spiders do 3D printing?

Why spiders? They produce an organic material that's stronger than steel. Spiders can transform a protein material to silk string.

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    Apr 7 2014: Sure you can, but it will not be alive, let alone producing silk.
    However, scientists found ways to genetically modify a goat so it produces spider silk protein.
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      Apr 7 2014: Hello Harald. That's good news but what about recycling silk?. The idea of "innovation from zero".

      Spiders can produce huge amount of silk in tyne time.
      Spiders can make web in less 120 second. 20 times bigger than it size.

      A magnificent factory.
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        Apr 7 2014: I don't think that having spiders produce silk in any significant amount would be very efficient. Consider that milk contains about 3 % of protein. So if a goat (or another larger mammal) is genetically modified to produce this protein as silk protein it would be about 30 grams per liter milk Most likely one can even tweak the protein yield so the goat produces even more protein. You'd need a lot of spiders to produce this amount, let alone the need to keep and feed them as well. It's easier to keep and feed one goat instead of thousands of spiders.
        In addition separating the protein from milk is much easier than collecting 1000s or millions of spider webs.
        In any case, coming back to your initial question, you obviously cannot print a live spider on a 3D printer.
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          Apr 8 2014: Hello Harald. collecting spider webs why we need that my idea not to collecting spider webs, my idea is making spiders do printing 3D by their silk.
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      Apr 8 2014: I agree with Harald.

      The documentary on the spider-silk producing goats explains that the problem lies in the ecology of the spider: it is hardly possible to herd them... hence their GMO sollution.

      But with the parasites-talk (,
      maybe there are perspectives to make very tame spiders that produce spider?
      They would be zombie spiders, or cyborg spiders
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        Apr 10 2014: Hello Christophe. yes what Harald said was correct but we need new way to making spiders printing 3D. I think in Genetic modification can make that possible.
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    Mar 31 2014: Well, I would rather go for using the materials that spiders use to make the web as it's written here they can produce "an organic material that's stronger than steel. Spiders can transform a protein material to silk string".
    Would not it be better if we try to make that instead of making the spider do 3D printing? We then can use it at our will. :)
    Just an idea. Not an expert on this.
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      Mar 31 2014: Hello Palash, good Idea, it's faster and more reliable but no longer, in order to run a factory you need energy what if our energy turn off we can't make silk and the factory it's shutdown by time, and all our factories right now waiting their moment to shutdown there is no factory can hold for infinite time except animal factory.
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        Mar 31 2014: I beg to defer. Even we consume energy all living things do. Now if you want to create something sustainable you need to put it in a system. Maybe we can relate it to a system so that the materials needed is a bi-product. Lot of imagination and thinking can be put into work here. :)
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          Mar 31 2014: Hello Palash, about "consuming energy all living things", all wars consuming humanity because of energy and infinite power, so when we make spiders giving energy not humanity, i think that is better.
    • Apr 11 2014: Issue: Relative efficiency. That's what it boils down to. Very few "technological" items are as efficient as are organisms in terms of using energy. We make up for that by pouring a LOT of energy into our gadgets. At very large scales, the materials of the gadgets overcome the problems had by using lots of energy. At smaller scales, biologically based machines may end up more efficient.

      Jury is still out.
  • Mar 30 2014: Well we could ask them but I don't think they'll listen.
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      Mar 30 2014: Dude, Nice idea but we need translator, Do you know someone can help? And we will facing gender issue because female eating male spider and if it's hungry eating their children so what gonna talk to it just a killer family.
      • Mar 31 2014: I can't think of a better translater than Spiderman. It's the job he was born to do.
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          Apr 7 2014: Hello Esteban. we became like it in modern world Not just that killer family, the amazing thing about that.
          1- after marriage female eating male.
          2- after she became pregnant her children eating their mom.
          3- if she is hungry while she is pregnant eating her children.
          The cool thing how male approach female and he knows she will eating him.
          he doesn't afraid from her or just guided by his desire.
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          Apr 7 2014: Hello Esteban.
          Why did we became like this? like spiders.
          what do we share with spiders?
          what is your opinion on this?.
  • Mar 30 2014: Interesting idea which has been considered before (and probably being worked on somewhere). However, instead of learning to manipulate the seemingly infinite complexities of spider biology/physiology/psychology to get them to do our bidding, why not learn to create and manipulate these protein strands, via MEMS/NEMS or some as yet undiscovered technology, for our specific purposes? Spiders "construct" their webs for their own imperatives and we marvel at their potential use in other areas. If better understood at the atomic and molecular levels it may be possible to assemble these, and other proteins, in novel ways conferring even greater properties and attributes which could enable technologies which today only exist in Science Fiction novels!
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      Mar 30 2014: Hello Peter, That is right those a little factories can be cloned into real one to make such thing But idea behind 3D printing and recycling make it the desired technology to all mankind and the coolest thing about it stronger than steel.
  • Mar 29 2014: Someday but to make anything useful outside of A lab would require HUGE spiders or 1,000s working in concert.
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      Mar 29 2014: Hello james, the important thing in spiders are recycling their silk, so whatever input became output and whatever output became input that means you can make an object just for a few days recycling it to make another,

      So it is Huge yeah but recycling for green environment.
  • Mar 27 2014: No.
    But I'm sure some smartie-pants people are working on it.
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      Mar 27 2014: Hello Bryen. What the meaning of "smart"? You have a qualify brain and a required knowledge to be smart. So why you can't work on it.
      • Mar 27 2014: Because I'm working on Alzheimer's disease and not an entomologist. The level of control needed requires specialist knowledge that would take decades to acquire.
        • Mar 29 2014: Bryan, I didn't know someone else was also working on Alzheimer's...
          I am too, from the inside, if I can remember correctly.

          Trouble is, I find myself frustrated every day as I fumble for words to
          give explanation to my comments. I watch as slowly my mighty mind
          disintegrates before me. Thank God for "spell check".

          As a genius used-to-be, I would cry if I thought it might change things.
          It won't and I don't. I just watch, wait, and find interest in my changes.

          Between Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, old age is self limiting.
          Little known of problems creep in. Turning a page in a book, or the
          forgetting the bedtime insulin shot are a couple of my favorites.

          Bilal Saad has brought up a good idea. TED has a couple of Talks
          that addressed like issues. I cannot of course remember which ones.
          I recall, one was about drawing electrical circuits on paper and them
          working. So to Bilal, I say, go forth and conquer.
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          Mar 30 2014: Hello Frank, there are many ted talks about how our brain can rebuilding itself, Is there no use for rebuilding cells for alzheimer and rebuilding connections?.

          There is an idea i'm trying to post it in TED CONV. About how we can know each cells in our brain what is doing. what the job it's responsible for it.

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    Mar 27 2014: Ed Yong’s TED talk would indicate that it is possible.

    This talk will give some idea how complex spider silk really is.
    Personally I think it is more likely some-one will find a synthetic material to this cheaper, but only time will tell.
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      Mar 27 2014: the coolest thing in spiders silk it's recycling that means we can make an object if we don't wont that object let spiders eat it again and making another object in a same amount of silk.
  • Mar 27 2014: If they are going to be printing all day then what special diet do they need to replenish their silk? Silk worms?
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      Mar 27 2014: Silk worms not stronger than spiders silk, yeah worms silk is thick but it's not stronger than spiders'. Spiders silk is thinner than worms silk and it's stronger.
    • Mar 29 2014: Their diet would just have to be plentiful. It wouldn't have to be silkworms.
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          Mar 31 2014: John, whatever you typing representing your self so why you are representing your self by f words? can anyone tell me what are you doing it's good or bad? please stop using it for yourself. tell me how you gonna rise you children with those words.
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    Mar 28 2014: Hello Bryan. Alzheimer's disease: isn't our brain having memories cells and a connection to get it, so this disease making a bad connection to that memo cells, which is a heated area in our brains to make it happen. That right if I'm wrong about it please correct me. Nice topic.
    • Mar 29 2014: Alzheimer's disease attacks connections that already exist. It damages several cell types, including those related to memory recall and formation. It has nothing to do with "heat". There is a breakdown in protein production, protein processing, lipids, preprogrammed cell death, and several other areas.
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        Mar 30 2014: Hello Bryan, that right the disease it's failure in cell or connection on even both, but when someone forgetting and remembering later that i meant before about heated area why because the heated area of brain it caused by physics a lot of Resistance that make electron hard to travel from cell to cell, that because of not remembering right now something but later when that heat became normal our memory return back. cool subject
        • Apr 2 2014: The breakdown isn't on that level of organization. It occurs at higher levels of organization, wherein heat and electron transfer "even out" over multiple reactions. That is, the physics-level reactions of the Alzheimer's brain is the same as that of the non-Alzheimer's brain. The problems occur at systems levels.