Category Archives: Bioengineering

UM Fund Invests In Brain-Computer Interface Developer

ANN ARBOR — The Zell Lurie Founders Fund at the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies announced an investment in Neurable, a brain-computer interface technology startup.

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Kraig Biocraft Secures Lease For Spider Silk Raw Material

ANN ARBOR — Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTC: KBLB) this week announced a long-term lease on property in Texas upon which it will plant 2,000 mulberry trees — eventually creating the food for its genetically engineered silkworms to create its proprietary “spider silk.”

The company expects to see an improvement in materials performance and a reduction in production costs by as much as 30 percent through the use of locally sourced mulberry.

“Signing this lease and opening this new facility brings with it a new era for Kraig Labs and silk production in the U.S.,” said COO Jon Rice. “Establishing domestic mulberry production has long been a key piece of our growth plan, today we are pleased to be able share the success of our efforts in bringing that vision into reality. Over the coming months we will complete the planting of the first 2,000 trees and prepare the facility for the next phase of expansion.”

This property offers the company significant capacity for growth with room for tens of thousands of more trees.

Mulberry leaves are the preferred food for domesticated silkworms. After they finish the larval stage of their development — eating at times their body weight in mulberry leaves in a day — silkworms spin a cocoon that are harvested and unwound as silk. The cocoons are made of a single thread of raw silk that can be up to 3,000 feet long. The fibers are lustrous and almost microscopically fine — around 0.0004 inches in diameter.

Kraig’s silkworms have been genetically modified with several spider genes, so that the silk they spin has some of the same incredible strength and toughness as spiderwebs.

For more information about Spider Silk, visit

Michigan Firm’s ‘Spider Silk’ Delivered to Military

ANN ARBOR — Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. (OTC: KBLB), the Ann Arbor-based company using gene splicing techniques to give silk the strength of spiderwebs, said Monday it had completed its initial deliveries to the United States Army of its Dragon Silk product for testing as a bullet-resistant material.

The product converted into material for ballistic testing by New Ipswitch, N.H.-based Warwick Mills Inc., a developer of advanced protective materials.

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Historic $12.7M Gift Headed To MSU College of Engineering

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State University College of Engineering has received the largest individual gift in its history.

A $10.7 million bequest from a California entrepreneur joins a previous cash gift of $2 million, bringing his total giving to $12.7 million to support the college and the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, one of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Centers.

The commitment is from computer scientist John R. Koza, who is considered the “father of genetic programming.”

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Endowed Bioengineering Chair Named At Michigan Tech

HOUGHTON — Caryn L. Heldt, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech, has been named the recipient of the James and Lorna Mack Endowed Chair in Bioengineering.

A Michigan Tech alumna, Heldt has been on the faculty since 2010.  She is recognized both for her teaching and her research.

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