The Pentagon plans to use synthetic, genetically altered life forms for military purposes. In particular, it is supposed to "teach" marine organisms to develop special control indicators when passing enemy warships, as well as to create "live" camouflage and self-healing paints.
The cost of the program is $ 45 million. Within its framework, it is supposed to "modify organisms for subsequent use in areas such as biological augmentation, the development of sensors and the synthesis of various materials."
Synthetic biology is usually seen as the process of applying engineering methods to the world of biology, more specifically, to genetics. In practice, this means that by adding or removing certain genetic sequences, it is possible to shape the desired behaviors of the organism.
Using such biotechnology, scientists will be able to create marine organisms that can release biochemical markers into the environment and detect, for example, diesel-electric submarines off the coast of the United States. Further, a nearby drone fixes the marker and reports this to the anti-submarine defense command post.
The possibilities of synthetic biology are enormous. One option is ship paint, which is made up of microscopic organisms that can self-repair throughout the life of the ship, cutting costs by about $ 21 billion that the Pentagon spends annually on rust fighting.
USS Iwo Jima with traces of rust