In-Q-Tel’s Tara O’Toole: AI Key to Driving US Biotech Innovation

Tara O' Toole
Tara O’ Toole

Tara O’Toole, executive vice president and senior fellow at In-Q-Tel, has said that artificial intelligence can help “fundamentally improve” synthetic biology concepts to support U.S. efforts to compete with China, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.

O’Toole, previously the Department of Homeland Security’s undersecretary for science and technology, told attendees at a Center for Strategic and International Studies webinar that the U.S. needs to focus on biotechnology initiatives as China pursues “a very aggressive strategy” to become the world leader in the biotech sector.

According to O’Toole, China is working on DNA sequencing efforts to support key biotech applications such as gene editing to build synthetic biological parts.

She noted that the U.S. needs to improve its capacity to write and synthesize DNA to keep up with China.

“It’s slower, it’s more expensive, but again we are getting better and better,” O’Toole added.

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