Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc., a biotechnology development company focused on genetically engineered high performance polymers and technical fibers, has managed to significantly leverage its efforts and success through cooperative work with select university laboratories. It’s a creative arrangement, under the Kraig Research Initiative, that allows Kraig to bring technologies from diverse research institutions and combine them. As part of the program, Kraig licenses university intellectual property in genetics and genetic engineering, tapping some of the greatest minds in the field.

Based on proprietary genetic engineering technology, Kraig is working to develop and produce polymers and protein-based materials, including spider silk. The company believes that spider silk is a “super fiber” that will have numerous commercial and consumer applications. In fact, the spider silk gene sequences, at the core of the technology, were first studied and patented by Dr. Lewis of the University of Wyoming. In 2006, Kraig obtained exclusive rights from the University for certain uses of the sequences.

Kraig is using genetic engineering to coax silkworms into producing spider silk. To do this, scientists had to develop the technology to successfully insert into silkworms the DNA packets containing the unique gene sequence used by spiders to produce silk. Since Kraig Biocraft first obtained the right to use the spider silk gene sequence, they have surprised many with the progress they’ve made, performing thousands of insertions in a single week. Scientists working in the company’s research program at the University of Notre Dame continue to make substantial progress in the successful insertion of DNA packets, increasing both the number and proportion of insertions. As their success with insertions increases, so does their chance of developing a viable polymer.

There’s good reason for Kraig Biocraft to do everything they can to leverage their efforts to develop high performance polymers and fibers. Emerging Growth Research, an independent California based industry research firm, stated recently that, should Kraig achieve its goal, “the technology will likely immediately be worth at least several hundred million dollars”.

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