The military’s research and development division, DARPA, has announced plans to establish a Biological Technologies Office. The program will handle all existing and future biotech research and development for the Pentagon.

“Biology is nature’s ultimate innovator, and any agency that hangs its hat on innovation would be foolish not to look to this master of networked complexity for inspiration and solutions,” DARPA director Arati Prabhakar told the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities last month.

The new office will design “next-generation technologies that are inspired by insights gained from the life sciences,” according to an agency press release. The program will focus on multiple scales, from individual cells to organisms to entire communities.

The initial research focus will be on developing new therapies for addressing current and emerging threats to military personnel health, harnessing biological systems in developing new products, and applying biological complexity at scale.

 


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