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 4 results for Bio-complexity + Resilience RSS
10/19/2016
It may not be obvious to humans, but the life of a plant is full of peril. Viruses, pests, fungi, herbicides, drought, pollution, salinity, flooding, and frost—the plants that we depend on for food, clean air, and materials are challenged by myriad threats, natural and man-made. By extension, human populations are put at risk when food security is challenged and the agricultural underpinnings of our economies are destabilized, especially when threats emerge rapidly or unexpectedly.
November 18, 2016,
Executive Conference Center / Webinar
DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office is hosting a Proposers Day meeting to provide information to potential applicants on the structure and objectives of the new Insect Allies program. Insect Allies will seek to develop vector-mediated modification technologies for mature plants to rapidly counter environmental and biological threats to crops. DARPA believes that the high specificity of genetic modification coupled with quick plant gene uptake could allow crops to be protected from threats within a single growing season.
FunCC aims to uncover fundamental principles of resilient self-organized complex systems applicable to domains spanning autonomous systems to biological networks, the immune system, and ecosystems. The dynamics and evolution of complex collectives are explored using new frameworks that embrace agent heterogeneity, stochasticity, distributed control, and diffusion of (mis)information.
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.