Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. is a cutting edge biotechnology company that is focused on the development of high performance fibers and polymers by creating transgenic silkworms inserted with spider genes. The goal is that these transgenic silkworms will spin a new â€œsuper fiberâ€ similar to natural spider silk.
Spider silk is one of the strongest and most resilient fibers known. It has several properties that are unmatched by synthetic fibers. One property is spider silk’s ability to absorb energy and then dissipate the energy evenly. Another property is spider silk’s extreme resistance to breaking under strain. In this respect, spider silk outperforms all known fibers â€“ natural and man-made. It is these properties that make spider silk especially attractive in applications for use in products such as bulletproof vests, artificial limbs, suspension cables and parachute cords.
Kraig Biocraft has acquired the exclusive rights to the genetic sequences for spiders patented by the University of Wyoming and the genetic engineering technology developed by the University of Notre Dame. The company is working together with the leading genetic engineers at these universities to develop enzymes and strategies for conducting site specific genetic recombination of the spider silk gene in an effort to produce a transgenic variety of silkworm.
Efforts to produce the desired proteins in a transgenic silkworm have significantly accelerated during the course of the year, possibly leading to a breakthrough by the end of 2009. Kraig Biocraft has been able to make 5000+ insertions of genetic packets per week. The company reached a milestone in May with the announcement of the creation of eight spider silk-based genetic constructs. The genetic constructs are packets of DNA that act as a blueprint for the creation of new polymers and spider silk-based proteins.
If Kraig Biocraft is successful in creating a spider silk-based fiber product, the company will be breaking into the huge $90 billion global market for high performance technical fibers. The United States market (where Kraig Biocraft will have their patents) for these fibers is roughly $45 billion. This industry has experienced significant growth over the past decade and growth is expected to continue in the industry for the foreseeable future.
Estimates have been made that any product produced by the company should immediately be worth several hundred dollars in revenues. Spider silk’s unqiue advantages â€“ resistance to breakage and energy absorption â€“ along with the fact that it is a natural product and not produced using toxic chemicals should allow Kraig Biocraft to easily find a profitable niche within the massive fibers industry.
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