Tough Fibers From Transgenic Silkworms


A startup company – Kraig Biocraft Laboratories – were able to make made genetically modified silkworms that produce fibers incorporating spider-silk proteins.

The product fibers are a lot stronger and flexible and finer than silk made by normal silkworms. Kraig Biocraft believes that they will be able to match the properties of spider silk within the next year and hopes to sell the first generation of fibers to companies that will make stronger everyday silk products.

Their ultimate goal however is to mass-produce artificial spider silk for use in making very strong and lightweight products including bulletproof vests, composite materials for vehicles and sports equipment and even new construction materials.

Kraig Biocraft used the system developed by Malcolm Fraser (Professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame) for making the transgenic silkworms.


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