Ultra-strong spider silk, one of the toughest known natural fibers, could one day protect soldiers on the battlefield from bullets and other threats, one company says.

Spider silk is light and flexible, and is stronger by weight than high-grade steel. Its potential applications span a wide range of industries, from surgical sutures for doctors to protective wear for the military. But producing and harvesting enough spider silk to make these types of products commercially available has posed a challenge.

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, based in Lansing, Michigan, genetically engineered silkworms to produce spider silk, and has used the material to create gloves that will soon undergo strength testing.

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