Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Harness Biological Systems

Leveraging genetic technologies to engineer synthetic or natural organisms

Showing 57 results for Bio-systems RSS
The Insect Allies program is pursuing scalable, readily deployable, and generalizable countermeasures against potential natural and engineered threats to the food supply with the goals of preserving the U.S. crop system. National security can be quickly jeopardized by naturally occurring threats to the crop system, including pathogens, drought, flooding, and frost, but especially by threats introduced by state or non-state actors. Insect Allies seeks to mitigate the impact of these incursions by applying targeted therapies to mature plants with effects that are expressed at relevant timescales—namely, within a single growing season.
Current and emerging Department of Defense (DoD) capabilities rely upon access to a number of critical, high-value molecules that are often prohibitively expensive, unable to be domestically sourced, and/or impossible to manufacture using traditional synthetic approaches. DARPA’s Living Foundries program aims to enable adaptable, scalable, and on-demand production of such molecules by programming the fundamental metabolic processes of biological systems to generate a vast number of complex molecules that are not otherwise accessible.
The past decade has seen explosive growth in development and training of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. However, as AI has taken on progressively more complex problems, the amount of computation required to train the largest AI systems has been increasing ten-fold annually. While AI advances are beginning to have a deep impact in digital computing processes, trade-offs between computational capability, resources and size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) will become increasingly critical in the near future.
04/28/2015

Because DARPA’s programs push the leading edge of technology, they are sometimes society’s first notable encounter with the societal dilemmas associated with new capabilities. DARPA pursues these technologies because of their promise, and the Agency is committed to exploring domains that could leave the Nation vulnerable if not pursued. But DARPA’s leadership and team members also understand that, in this pursuit, the Agency’s work will at times raise ethical, legal, security or policy questions that cannot and should not go unaddressed.

Chemical and biological (CB) threats have become increasingly ubiquitous and diverse. They present a risk to our stability operators in pandemic outbreak scenarios, and our warfighters serving in diverse operating environments. State-of-the-art protective equipment continues to severely limit mobility and performance of the user because of a dependence upon protective garments that are thick, heavy, and cumbersome. The Personalized Protective Biosystem (PPB) program aims to reduce protective equipment needs while increasing protection against existing and future CB threats.