Transgenic silkworms could spin big profits Print E-mail
By M.E.Garza   
Thursday, 02 September 2010 05:26

Shares of Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB:KBLB) are on our watch list as we believe several potentially interesting developments may be close at hand.

As we told our subscribers yesterday, Kraig Biocraft is a biotechnology company pursuing the production of artificial spider silk through state-of-the-art genetic techniques designed to produce transgenic silkworms.  Impressively, this transgenic animal is expected to be capable of producing silk that contains spider silk protein – in short, they are capable of producing artificial spider silk.  While we admit that when we first heard about this possibility we were a little surprised, upon further investigation, we now believe it is truly an exciting market opportunity for the Company and its investors.  We have been watching Kraig Biocraft for a few years now and were very surprised recently to learn that it has called a press conference later this month to discuss developments in its laboratory.  It is our belief Kraig Biocraft will make a significant announcements at this press conference. 

These developments are clearly alluded to in a letter to the Company’s shareholders that was recently placed on the Kraig Biocraft corporate website.  The letter can be viewed at: http://www.kraiglabs.com/letter%20to%20shareholders%208.24.2010.htm.

Silk produced by spiders is among the strongest fibers occurring in nature.  Not only is it as strong, or stronger, than Kevlar or steel, its ability to absorb and dissipate energy in a very controlled manner is unparalleled in nature or in science.  This unique property makes spider silk especially attractive for applications where the absorption of energy is an important design factor.  Products such as bullet proof vests, artificial ligaments, suspension cables and many other industrial applications are perfect markets for artificial spider silk.  While the “Holy Grail,” per say, in this industry would be to exactly replicate the properties of naturally occurring spider-silk, a nearer term goal likely to be achieved is the replacement of ordinary silkworm-produced-silk with a product of superior durability.  These important materials represent large markets, with the market for Kevlar and other similar industrial materials measuring in the billions of dollars per year and the U.S. and European Union textile silk market sized at approximately $2 billion to $3 billion per year.

While spider silk proteins have been produced in very small quantities in a few laboratories around the world, Kraig Biocraft is the first company to attempt the production of spider silk in transgenic silkworms (Bombyx mori).  The techniques being deployed by the Company involve injecting the already isolated spider silk gene sequences from spiders into the DNA strands of silkworms, so that the silkworms produce spider silk proteins during the insect’s cocooning process.  

What is really interesting about Kraig Biocraft's effort is the very impressive and high powered team that has been assembled to work on this project, including Dr. Malcolm Fraser of Notre Dame University and Dr. Randy Lewis from the University of Wyoming - two of the foremost authorities in this field of study.  Dr. Fraser in particular is a heavyweight in insect related genetic engineering, having previously discovered a significant innovation for transporting the genes from one organism into another organism.  The technique, now called “piggyBac,” is based on the actual gene sequence Dr. Fraser originally isolated from the genes of a virus called the bacolovirus, which widely infects insects.  The technique allows for the accurate insertion of particular genes into a very specific location on the DNA strand of the host organism.  Using this technique, Kraig Biocraft’s technology seeks to insert the spider’s genes responsible for producing spider silk into a specific place on the DNA strand of a silkworm, thereby replacing the genes of the silkworm that once told it to produce ordinary silk with the inserted spider genes that now tell the silkworm to produce spider silk proteins.  Theoretically, this could enable an ordinary silkworm to produce spider silk proteins.

Considering the Company's press release and its website indicate that “Kraig Biocraft Laboratories has made great strides over the last several months” and that “Kraig plans to hold a press conference for the purpose of announcing laboratory developments,” we believe there is a strong possibility of major news indicating progress toward the aim of producing transgenic silkworms capable of producing spider silk proteins.

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (KBLB) should be on your watch list as we believe major developments at the Company are likely to be announced during the upcoming September 2010 press conference.

 

Disclosure: No Positions




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