Wednesday, November 09, 2011

DARPA: Living Foundries Industry wanted.

DARPA wants something better than 3D printers: the Fifth International Meeting on Synthetic Biology at Stanford University, a representative from the DARPA announced a new program called Living Foundries that will invest in and develop synthetic biology projects. reality, she said, yields are low, synthetic biologists can only use a very constrained group of starting products, and they can't make anything they want, only things that are either natural products or slightly modified versions.

Expanding the possible materials that can be made by engineered cells will require making microbes that can deal with other feedstocks—going beyod sugar and cellulose. DARPA wants to open up the periodic table so that cells can make, for example, efficient semiconductor materials.
 Making semiconductors would probably not be a good idea because conventional technologies are  really good at it already. But producing organic solar cells or some kind of other energy converter/storage "devices" could eventually replace burning fossil fuels.

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