biotechnology

July 30, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A DARPA cubesat placed into orbit from the International Space Station contains an experiment in which microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS) change the mirror shape of an optical system to generate high-quality imagery. Space is just one area in which the agency is boosting its research to meet new challenges. Credit: NASA photo

New research areas and greater emphasis on existing sciences define the way ahead for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Longstanding areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum sciences and directed energy systems now are sharing the spotlight with antiviral research, space systems and operational biotechnology as the agency aims deeper into the new decade.

May 19, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Ivan Cholakov

Mark Lewis, director of defense research and engineering for modernization at the Pentagon, provided an update on the Department of Defense’s modernization efforts during his keynote on day one of the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Lewis is focused on the modernization priorities that will inform the warfighter of the future and will set them up to be successful in the 5-, 10- and 15-year time horizons.

September 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Synthetic biology is a top priority for the Army as well as the Defense Department, says Bryn Adams, research biologist, Army Research Laboratory.  ARL

The synthetic biology-related work that scientists at the Army Research Laboratory are performing may seem as if it is taken from a science fiction novel: harnessing the DNA of microbes to engineer military solutions such as self-healing paint on a tank. But to support soldiers of the future, this may be what is needed, a researcher says. The Army has to prepare soldiers to fight in multidomain operations across dense urban environments, megacities or austere environments, and synthetic biology capabilities could provide fuel sources, protective coatings, food or other necessities.

September 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The National Science Foundation is tackling an array of challenges associated with integrating DNA and silicon chips to advance the science of DNA-based data storage. New technologies are needed to handle the massive amounts of worldwide data generated each year.  microstock3D/Shutterstock

If the pursuit of DNA-based data storage is a race, it is probably more of a long, arduous, challenge-laden Tough Mudder than a quick, straightforward 50-yard dash. Or it may be a tortoise and hare situation with data growing at an extraordinary pace while science moves steadily along in hopes of gaining the lead.

April 20, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paula Austin, a Sandia systems engineer within International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction group, stands outside an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone. (Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories)

Nearly 60 employees of Sandia National Laboratories have been recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) for their work during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Dmitri Kusnezov, chief scientist and senior adviser to the secretary of energy, visited Sandia earlier this month to honor the lifesaving efforts of the Sandians and the work of the Technology Convergence Working Group.

The working group was established in 2015 to provide technical insight and assess the nation’s emerging biological technologies. It is made up of representatives from DOE headquarters and Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

November 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department’s research agency has simplified the process for researchers trying to break into the federal marketplace and earmarked up to $700,000 in seedling funds for cutting-edge biotech ideas.

The Biological Technologies Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created a simplified proposal process to lure new businesses and academic researchers who have not worked previously with the federal government.

Through the new EZ Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) process, applicants submit a two-page white paper describing their ideas to begin the consideration process.

November 22, 2013
 

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Calif., was awarded a $56,591,679 cost-sharing contract for an extension and ceiling increase modification to maintain the Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) University Affiliated Research Center. Services include engineering and research capabilities focusing on research to enable biotechnology solutions that address Army needs through the application of the principles of cross-disciplinary bioengineering sciences. UCSB/ICB is dedicated to performing research at the interface between biotechnology and engineering in order to solve difficult problems in the areas of sensors, materials and systems engineering.