Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., the Michigan-based company using genetic engineering to allow silkworms to produce spider silk, is making use of some of the most advanced insect-related genetic engineering techniques known. Scientists have already produced the first transgenic silkworms, and other scientists have discovered the sequence of genes used by spiders to produce silk. The brilliance of Kraig’s approach is the bringing together of researchers from both of these fields in a collaborative effort to produce commercially viable quantities of spider silk.

Kraig Biocraft has acquired the exclusive rights in this field to the genetic sequences patented by the University of Wyoming, and the genetic engineering technology developed by the University of Notre Dame. The company is now working in conjunction with the leading genetic scientists at these universities to produce a transgenic variety of silkworm capable of producing the elusive spider silk.

The process is tedious and exacting, but the goal could be worth tens of billions of dollars. Spider silk exceeds all known fibers in its ability to absorb energy without breaking. This makes it a potential super fiber for a host of ballistic resistant, medical, industrial, and even fashion related applications. Discovering a way to make such silk commercially viable would be a major scientific achievement, of exceeding value to companies like DuPont that currently dominate the technical textiles market.

As part of the company’s intellectual property portfolio, Kraig Biocraft has the exclusive rights to use the patented spider silk gene sequences in silkworms within the United States. The company’s intellectual property portfolio also includes a separate U.S. provisional patent application for certain methodologies, genetic sequences, organic polymers, and composites of fibers.

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