Could genetic modification via insects protect crops against agricultural bioterrorism?

Plant Science Today | November 16, 2016


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) has announced a Proposers Day for the new Insect Allies program.  The Insect Allies program will seek to “provide an alternative to traditional agricultural threat response, using targeted gene therapy to protect mature plants within a single growing season.”  Insect Allies is a unique effort by DARPA to address emerging threats in the agricultural environment, such as agricultural bioterrorism domestically and abroad, as well as food security and production through synthetic biology.  New programs, like Insect Allies, represent a recognition by the Department of Defense (DOD) that innovative technologies are needed to combat non-traditional defense challenges.

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