Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX)
The Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program seeks to develop new experimental and computational tools to detect engineered biological systems. The development of new biotechnologies is enabling the ability to engineer a diversity of biological systems, with potential benefits ranging from new vaccines and therapeutics to novel materials and improved agriculture. Of particular note are genome editing tools that are commonly used worldwide for a range of significant research and development efforts. These technologies have made biological engineering more accessible, more convenient, and less expensive. At the same time, these beneficial biotechnologies could result in the accidental or deliberate misuse of biological systems with unforeseen or uncontrolled consequences that may have adverse health, economic, or national security implications. The FELIX program aims to develop new tools and approaches to improve and augment detection capabilities to expedite appropriate responses to the presence of engineered organisms.