Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Harness Biological Systems

Leveraging genetic technologies to engineer synthetic or natural organisms

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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.

Few military requirements are as enduring as the need for timely, accurate information.

To meet this demand, the Department of Defense invests heavily in the development of powerful electronic and mechanical sensors, and in the manpower to maintain and operate those sensors. DARPA has been involved on the research side of the equation since the Agency’s earliest days, developing technologies such as the VELA satellites and seismographs to ensure Soviet compliance with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

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.