Episode 6: The Insectophile

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Podcast: Voices from DARPA
Episode: Episode 6: The Insectophile
Episode pub date: 2017-01-12

In this episode of DARPA’s podcast series, Voices from DARPA, join program manager Blake Bextine of the Agency’s Biological Technologies Office as he talks about his virus- and insect-mediated vision for protecting food crops from natural and human-wrought threats, including drought and biological warfare. With his Insect Allies program, Bextine aims to increase food security by recruiting insects to deliver viruses, which have been modified to bear protective genes, into plants where those virus-carried genes could save the plants from the threats they face. His approach offers a number of potential advantages over today’s slash-and-burn method of managing diseased crops. Bextine also shares some tips on how to find and cook insects, especially when you’re in the wilderness and your stomach is growling.

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