Meet a new creature created by American scientists, that is part goat, part spider and can produce large quantities of a spider silk that is among the strongest substances known to man.

It is part of a new field of research, synthetic biology, with a radical aim: to break down nature into spare parts so that we can rebuild it however we please.

This technology is already being used to make bio-diesel to power cars. Other researchers are looking at how we might, one day, control human emotions by sending ‘biological machines’ into our brains.

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