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Science & Technology

DARPA is attempting to 'slow biological time'

By T.K. Randall
March 6, 2018 · Comment icon 4 comments

When a soldier is injured, time is of the essence. Image Credit: Richard Bumgardner
Known as Biostasis, the program aims to increase the odds of survival for injured soldiers on the battlefield.
When someone is badly wounded during a combat scenario, the most important factor in keeping them alive is getting them the treatment they need as soon as humanly possible.

To this end, scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been investigating the possibility of slowing down the biochemical reactions within the body of injured soldiers to effectively place them in a suspended state until help can arrive.

One of the inspirations behind this idea is the tardigrade, a microscopic creature that can place itself in to a state of 'cryptobiosis' to survive freezing temperatures, dehydration and even radiation exposure.
The key to achieving this in humans, the researchers argue, lies in controlling special proteins or 'molecular machines' known as catalysts which speed up the rate of chemical reactions.

"Our goal with Biostasis is to control those molecular machines and get them to all slow their roll at about the same rate, so that we can slow down the entire system gracefully, and avoid adverse consequences when the intervention is reversed or wears off," said program manager Tristan McClure-Begley.

While the ability to slow down the body of an injured soldier is still many years away, if the team eventually does succeed, such technology could also prove invaluable in other situations as well.

In the hands of ambulance crews, for instance, it could help to save countless lives.

Source: Live Science | Comments (4)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ExoPaul 6 years ago
And y'all thought the gel face mask in Kingsman: The Golden Circle was ridiculous!! Science! 
Comment icon #2 Posted by willosbourne81 6 years ago
I would for sure apply this technology during the hours I am working in the office
Comment icon #3 Posted by acidlung 6 years ago
Hate to burst your bubble, but this technology has been around for nearly 90 years.  Grip a novel by Hemingway firmly in both hands, open to page 1, and watch time instantly slow to a unbearable crawl. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by godnodog 6 years ago
Yep, the great novels of the world can also be nearly unbearable. Some years ago I got an excellent result at a Portuguese Literature Exam (The Maias by Eça de Queiros), tne teacher was very impressed and said usually students dont know some of the details I mentioned and that showed that I enjoyed the small details of the book, I explained that I had given up after the 4th chapter as the book was boring as *** and that I read the Maias "for dummies" instead, the teacher was appaled and asked why did I considered the book boring, I stated that the author wasted too much time with details l... [More]


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