Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

Showing 5 results for Fundamentals + Bio-systems RSS
Proposals to the Biological Control program (DARPA-BAA-16-17) are due April 29, 2016. The program seeks to build the foundations for multiscale control of biological systems.
Researchers working on DARPA’s Quantum Effects in Biological Environments (QuBE) program have shown that the electromagnetic noise that permeates modern urban environments can disrupt a bird’s internal magnetic compass. The findings settle a decades-long debate into whether low-level, artificial electric and magnetic fields can affect biological processes in higher vertebrates. For DARPA, the results hint at a new class of bio-inspired sensors at the intersection of biology and quantum physics.
For decades scientists have wondered whether electromagnetic waves might play a role in intra- and inter-cell signaling. Researchers have suggested since the 1960s, for example, that terahertz frequencies emanate from cell membranes, but they’ve lacked the technology and tools to conduct reproducible experiments that could prove whether electromagnetic waves constitute purposeful signals for biological function—or if they’re merely background noise. With recent advances in technology and modeling, experiments may now be possible to test signaling hypotheses.
February 21, 2017 ,
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is sponsoring a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the RadioBio program.
Biological sensors often display high sensitivity, selectivity, and low false alarm rates while being fabricated and operated in dirty, noisy natural environments. Attempts to emulate these sensors synthetically have not fully met expectations. Recent evidence suggests that some biological sensors exploit nontrivial quantum mechanical effects to produce macroscopic output signals. Examples of such sensors include the highly efficient energy transfer properties of photosynthesis in plants, bacteria, and algae; magnetic field sensing used by some birds for navigation; and the ability of some animals to detect odors at the single molecule level.