Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DARPA Super Soldier Program

Via Danger Room, this initiative from DARPA -- the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency -- looks like a lot more than just battlefield medicine:
DARPA seeks to define the spatio-temporal instructive components encoded in cells in the context of their biological systems, through the application of advanced principles from evolutionary biology, genomics, mathematics, algorithm development, data mining, and the physical sciences. DARPA is soliciting research proposals for the Biochronicity program that will identify common spatio-temporal instructions or "clock signatures" in the genome, epigenome, proteome, and/or transcriptome across prokaryotic and eukaryotic species. The focus of the program will be on unraveling biological clock systems in prokaryotes and eukaryotes and the efforts of this initiative will contribute to the understanding and management of disease, trauma, human combat performance, and emerging infectious disease countermeasures. Additionally, a greater understanding of molecular oscillators and the evolution of biological clocks will lead to fundamental advancements in developmental science, drug development, aging, and cell death. These fundamental advancements in the understanding of timing in biology can be translated into major breakthroughs in trauma care on the battlefield by accessing the mechanisms that control biological time to improve patient outcomes, for example, by lengthening the window of opportunity for medical and treatment interventions.
Once we control cellular clocks, we will begin to construct super soldiers who experience no fatigue or aging. . . .

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