Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Apply Biological Complexity at Scale

Relating to insights that can be derived from examining living-system dynamics at an enormous range of spatial, physical and temporal scales

Showing 34 results for Bio-complexity RSS
Agricultural food production is a fundamental human activity that contributes to defense preparedness, social stability, and economic vitality. However, food production can be jeopardized by natural and man-made threats such as viruses, pests, fungi, herbicides, drought, pollution, salinity, flooding, and frost. Traditional agricultural threat responses—crop rotation, selective breeding, pesticides, slash-and-burn clearing, and quarantine—offer some protection, but are not ideal for facing unexpected or rapidly emerging threats, and are not well suited for securing mature plants. The Insect Allies program seeks to provide an alternative to these traditional responses, using targeted gene therapy to protect mature plants within a single growing season.
The RadioBio program aims to establish whether functional signaling via electromagnetic waves between biological cells exists and, if it does, to determine what mechanisms are involved and what information is being transferred. The program seeks to determine the validity of electromagnetic biosignaling claims and, where evidence exists, understand how the structure and function of these natural “antennas” are capable of generating and receiving information in a noisy, cluttered electromagnetic environment.
The Safe Genes program aims to deliver novel biological capabilities to facilitate the safe and expedient pursuit of advanced genome editing applications, while also providing the tools and methodologies to mitigate the risk of unintentional consequences or intentional misuse of these technologies.
U.S. warfighters operate in all manner of environments, including tight urban terrain. The safety and effectiveness of the warfighter demand maximum flexibility for maneuvering and responding to circumstances. To overcome obstacles and secure entrance and egress routes, warfighters frequently rely on ropes, ladders and related climbing tools. Such climbing tools cost valuable time to use, have limited application and add to the load warfighters are forced to carry during missions. The Z-Man programs aims to develop biologically inspired climbing aids to enable warfighters to scale vertical walls constructed from typical building materials, while carrying a full combat load, and without the use of ropes or ladders.
Program Manager
Dr. Blake Bextine joined DARPA as a Program Manager in March 2016. He is interested in novel approaches to addressing issues facing agricultural biotechnology and biosecurity, including nucleic acid-based anti-pathogen/anti-pest strategies, insect and plant transformation strategies for rapid trait selection, and innovative approaches for altering insect behaviors.