When most people think about advanced technology, they imagine robots or hypersonic vehicles or new additions to the Internet of Things. But there is another tool that may have more high-tech potential than anything else: biology.
“Biology can do things that no other man-made technology or chemistry can do,” says Alicia Jackson, deputy director of the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
“Biology can replicate, it can scale from one to millions to billions in hours; it can adapt, it’s programmable through its genetic code. No other technology that we know of can do these things,” Jackson says. The program at DARPA is called Living Foundries.
According to the DARPA website, the goal of the Living Foundries program is “to leverage the unparalleled synthetic and functional capabilities of biology to create a revolutionary, biologically-based manufacturing platform to provide access to new materials, capabilities and manufacturing paradigms for the DoD and the nation.”
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