Researchers from China used CRISPR technology on silkworms to produce tough and strong spider silk. The resulting fiber is considered better compared to other commercial synthetic fibers.
Commercial synthetic fibers usually have a trade-off between toughness and strength so researchers must create materials that can combine strength with fiber toughness. As a solution to this problem, researchers from Southwest University in Chongqing and Donghua University in Shanghai used CRISPR on silkworms in order for them to spin spider silk.
The studies showed that the fiber from the spider silk has high tensile strength, which surpassed the majority of available fibers like nylon. It was also determined to be beyond six times tougher than Kevlar. The results demonstrate that spider silk can be used to create effective substitutes for commercially available fibers.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications.