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DARPA Puts $30 Million into “Living Foundries”

DARPA has aleady been investing selectively in academic synthetic biology projects. This is a big new investment that should give a boost to research across the field. Science Insider reports that the first phase of the Living Foundries efforts “will support work that advances the tools needed to make synthetic biology more efficient and cheaper” — namely, the ability to generate synthetic DNA more cheaply and quickly. That should benefit researchers broadly. A second planned phase of the project will focus on integrating these foundational advances into new bio-production processes. One can only imagine what sort of “useful products” the big brains at DARPA are imagining this technology might one day produce. The story on Science Insider also discusses NASA-funded research aimed at using synthetic biology to terraform the Moon or Mars.

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