Synthetic Biology

AFRL is leveraging advances in synthetic biology to optimize Airmen performance and health, and to develop next-generation materials to provide an asymmetric advantage to our warfighters and weapon systems.

Synthetic biology, where biosciences, information sciences and engineering converge, provides ways of creating materials and manipulating biological process for sensing and improving airman performance. AFRL is part of larger DoD effort (in collaboration with Army and Navy) in exploiting synthetic biology for Defense applications.

The AFRL team recently engineered a human gut microorganism to produce a beneficial metabolite when a stress biomarker is sensed, and this is undergoing testing using state-of-the-art in vitro systems developed by the Air Force.  The ultimate goal is to enhance the resilience of our Airmen.