Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Threat Countermeasures

Actions that mitigate adversaries' capabilities

Showing 33 results for Countermeasures + News RSS
Protection against many common pathogens and environmental stressors is written into our DNA. Our skin responds to sun exposure. Our immune system mounts defenses when we get the flu. Our bodies inherently work to mitigate the potential for harm caused by these health threats. However, these intrinsic responses are not always quick, robust, or appropriate enough to adequately defend us from harm, which is why many people experience sunburn after intense sun exposure or suffer severe symptoms, even death, following exposure to the flu.
X-rays and gamma rays have a wide range of applications including scanning suspicious maritime shipping containers for illicit materials, industrial inspection of materials and processes, and medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Current technologies, however, are not ideal. X-rays produce a continuum of energies that limit their inspection and diagnostic performance, and gamma rays can only be produced at specific energies unique to a given radioactive isotope.
Breakthroughs in the science of programmable gene expression inspired DARPA to establish the PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program with the goal of delivering powerful new defenses against public health and national security threats. DARPA has now selected five teams to develop a range of new medical interventions that temporarily and reversibly modulate the expression of protective genes to guard against acute threats from influenza and ionizing radiation, which could be encountered naturally, occupationally, or through a national security event.
DARPA launched the Safe Genes program in 2017 to establish a “safety by design” strategy for guiding the development of an array of powerful, emergent genome editing technologies. Consistent with the National Biodefense Strategy published last year, DARPA’s goals for Safe Genes are to mitigate the risks and security concerns related to the accidental or intentional misuse of such technologies and, at the same time, enable the pursuit of novel genetic solutions that support public health and military force protection and readiness.
Service members at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii recently tested a prototype DARPA system designed to help military analysts and planners determine if observed events – such as increased force movements, cyber intrusions, and civil unrest – are unconnected occurrences, or if they’re part of an adversary’s coordinated campaign to achieve strategic objectives in a geographic region.