From page 47 of the DARPA 2011 budget:

(U)  BioDesign is a new intellectual approach to biological functionality.  The intrinsic concept is that by using gained knowledge of biological processes in combination with biotechnology and synthetic chemical technology, humans can employ system engineering methods to originate novel beneficial processes. BioDesign eliminates the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement primarily by advanced genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies to produce the intended biological effect. This thrust area includes designed molecular responses that increase resistance to cellular death signals and improved computational methods for prediction of function based solely on sequence and structure of proteins produced by synthetic biological systems. Development of technologies to genetically tag and/or lock synthesized molecules would provide methods for identifying the origin and source of synthetic biologicals (e.g., genes or proteins) allowing for traceability and prevention of manipulation (“tamper proof” synthetic biological).


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