Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Harness Biological Systems

Leveraging genetic technologies to engineer synthetic or natural organisms

Showing 52 results for Bio-systems RSS
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.
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.
DARPA created the Safe Genes program to gain a fundamental understanding of how gene editing technologies function; devise means to safely, responsibly, and predictably harness them for beneficial ends; and address potential health and security concerns related to their accidental or intentional misuse.
DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
DARPA has enjoyed a strong relationship with Silicon Valley since the early 1960s, working with innovators to lay the groundwork for new industries built around Agency investments in semiconductors, networking, artificial intelligence, user interfaces, programming, materials, microsystems, and more. Biotech is now emerging as a breakthrough opportunity space and it represents an area that is ripe for fresh collaboration among DARPA, the nation’s top researchers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.