Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. develops protein-based fiber using recombinant DNA technology. The company focuses on spider silk because of its exceptional strength and durability. Some spiders produce up to seven different types of silk, depending on its use, for catching prey, spinning a web, or traveling.
Since spiders are cannibals and hard to keep in colonies, the company maintains its focus on reproducing the fibers using transgenic silkworms. The idea is to create a transgenic variety of silkworms capable of spinning a new â€œsuper fiberâ€ that is similar or an exact copy of natural spider silk, which is can be used in military and police departments, industrial and consumer applications, as well as for the aero-space industry.
In May of this year, Kraig Biocraft announced that it has successfully created eight DNA constructs, with the help of a team of scientists. Having teamed up with the University of Notre Dame to move into the $92 billion market for technical fibers, the news is a milestone for the company and the university.
â€œThese constructs include a number of new DNA combinations that are truly exciting,â€ said CEO Kim K. Thompson. â€œThe increases in laboratory productivity over the last eight months are now enabling us to do more and to do it faster. This number of unique genetic constructs is a new breakthrough for the company. Each of these constructs has the potential to result in the development of a new polymer or high performance fiber.â€
In laymanâ€™s terms, the genetic constructs are packets of DNA that act as a blueprint for the creation of new polymers and spider silk-based proteins. According to the company and participating scientists, the experiments have increased dramatically.
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