Materials experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., are moving forward with a U.S. military research project to engineer biological materials for advanced military sensors, chemicals, materials, and therapeutics.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., announced an $8.2 million contract modification to MIT last week for the second phase of the Living Foundries: 1000 Molecules project to develop a biology-engineering infrastructure for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and for the engineering biology community.
The DARPA program seeks to create a first-of-its-kind infrastructure comprising tools and processes that to help with innovation across several applications, and to help push biotechnology forward. The infrastructure will include design algorithms, genetic integration methodologies, and flexible assay systems.
MIT originally won an $11.1 million contract in May 2015 for the first phase of the DARPA 1000 project. MIT is in the process of producing at least 350 unique molecules to augment the Pentagon”s limited set of chemical building blocks.