Army Center to Study New Uses of Biotechnology

August 27, 2003 | Source: New York Times

The United States Army is establishing the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at three universities to apply biology to the development of sensors, computers and materials, under a $50 million initial grant.

Such technology might include better materials for uniforms or armor, faster and lighter computers and batteries and more elaborate sensors.

It might be possible to make even smaller and speedier chips by building structures molecule by molecule from the ground up, as living creatures do. These chips might be useful in munitions that could tell friend from foe or sensors that could be embedded in a soldier’s uniform.

Other examples include using an enzyme synthetically to assemble structures of silica; and viruses that can make and organize minuscule wires and magnetic components.