The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is DHS’s primary research and development (R&D) arm.
S&T manages science and technology research, from development through transition, for the department's operational components and the nation’s first responders.
engineers, scientists and researchers work closely with industry and academic partners to ensure R&D investments address the high-priority needs of today and the growing demands of the future.
Advances in the ability to design and engineer biological organisms for intended purposes, an ability commonly called synthetic biology, increase our understandings of natural systems.
Improved understandings of natural systems can equate to improved performance of those (and other) systems.
For instance, synthetic biology can be used to alter genetic information within cells to enable a range of outcomes, from simple things like changing the color of a plant to complex things like designing improved medicines that seek and eliminate diseased cells within a sick person.
At the same time, improvements in engineering techniques, tools, and applications can be merged with biology to develop biological parts and systems that are working and sustainable.
In addition, synthetic biology is unique among the basic sciences because it exists at the intersection of engineering, science and commercial impact – three valuable arenas.
As a result of these advantages, synthetic biology is a field in which the U. S. cannot afford to lag.
To stay competitive in the search for answers through biology, the U. S. government needs to have close relationships with the bioengineering, or synthetic biology, community, including commercial companies and end users.
Having a close relationship with the synthetic biology community would enable the government to keep abreast of the changes and impacts brought about by synthetic biology, so the government could assess the potential upsides and dangers resulting from synthetic biology processes.
As a result, DHS proposes to bring together a community of scientists, engineering developers, commercial companies, and end users to enable DHS to both understand the possible directions the synthetic biology community may take in the future, and also influence those directions