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Defense Against Malignant Synthetic Biothreat Agents

Synthetic Biology Research & DevelopmentThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to develop an architecture for Defense against Malignant Synthetic Biothreat Agents to address the changing biodefense landscape as a result of advances in synthetic biology.

Aside from its potential to change industries and lives usefully, synthetic biology has vastly accelerated the capability to design, develop and produce biological organisms or threat agents.

Consequently, development of a systematic, coherent architecture is sought through which the government can become aware of, understand the nature of, and respond to attacks or releases using synthetic biothreats agents.

DHS seeks an architecture that would enable an overall characterization process but that would also go beyond characterization to include understandings of other elements of biodefense, including prevention, protection, response and recovery. DHS anticipates that the proposed architecture will have multiple elements to ensure effective defense against the range of potential attack outcomes.

Interested organizations are asked to submit full proposals, assessing the potential feasibility and timelines for the development of synthetic biothreat agents, as well as the consequences of the use of such agents. Responses should also address gaps in the nation’s ability to detect, protect against, respond to, and recover from attacks with these agents.

Further details are available via Solicitation Number: HSHQDC14RB0009OBAACALL11. The response deadline is March 18, 2016.

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