Most people don't want a spider crawling down their back, but would they be willing to wear a shirt made from spider silk?
Kim Thompson, the founder and CEO of Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (OTC: KBLB [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]), hopes that the answer is yes -- especially when consumers learn that the silk will actually be made by silk worms.
Thompson founded his company with the goal of using existing production machinery (which includes the domesticated silk worm) to produce silk from the Golden Orb-Weave Spider.
"I ultimately made an agreement with the University of Wyoming to license the gene sequences to make this happen, and I entered into agreements with the University of Notre Dame, who had the scientists and the technical ability to actually perform the genetic sequencing," Thompson told Benzinga. "That's how the company was founded. All of the scientific work, genetic engineering work, is being done on campus in the University of Notre Dame, or in a small laboratory that we maintain adjacent to the campus."
Related: 5 Essential Rules For Penny Stock Investing
Thompson insists that his system works. He said that his team has created "numerous transgenic genetically modified silk worms using spider silk DNA," which causes the silk worms to produce spider silk.
"What we're doing is basically taking these genes, inserting them in such a way that the silk worm produces the spider silk proteins in its silk glands, and then extrudes them as a recombinant genetically modified spider silk," said Thompson.
In addition to spider silk, the silk worms also continue to produce their own normal silk proteins. This has allowed Kraig to develop two fusion materials: Big Red and Monster Silk. Both are stronger than traditional silk, and both have the opportunity to be used for the development of protective/armored materials, among other things.
"The first applications are the ones that people aren't thinking about," said Thompson. "Those are the mundane applications