DARPA Taps Raytheon to Develop Biosurveillance Tech for Bacterial Pathogen Detection

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected Raytheon to develop a sensor-based biosurveillance tool that would identify potential bacterial threats to soldiers and civilians.

Raytheon said Tuesday it aims to create a portable screening device for the detection and characterization of pathogens as part of DARPA's Friend or Foe initiative.

The technology is being developed to isolate bacterium and obtain initial data before subjecting suspicious bacteria to synthetic substances similar to human tissues in defensive functionality.

"We're looking at ways to subject the bacteria to a gauntlet of behavior screenings so we can determine its ability to cause disease,“ said Aaron Adler, principal investigator for Friend or Foe at Raytheon's BBN Technologies business.

Adler noted that factors such as climate change, global travel and population growth contribute to increased risks of getting exposed to unidentified bacteria.

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