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DARPA funds $65 million for safer genetic engineering and technology to fight bioterrorism

•, brian wang

DARPA announced awards to seven teams that will pursue that mission, led by: The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Riverside. DARPA plans to invest $65 million in Safe Genes over the next four years as these teams work to collect empirical data and develop a suite of versatile tools that can be applied independently or in combination to support bio-innovation and combat bio-threats.

UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna, who co-invented CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, will investigate whether these gene editing tools might someday be capable of disabling bioterrorism threats, such as novel infectious agents or weapons employing CRISPR itself.

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