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DARPA opens the program "BIOSTAT"
Material posted: Publication date: 07-03-2018
As you know, the us army is very sensitive to loss of personnel. If the military of another country will lose in one operation 100-200 fighters is not objectionable in society, in the US after such an incident can begin as a public protest campaign. The history knew examples when, under public pressure, the US had to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories.

Therefore, the main objective in the conduct of U.S. operations to minimize the number of casualties among the personnel. It is desirable to reduce them to zero. Management of perspective research projects of the Ministry of defense or DARPA (eng. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has launched a new program "BIOSTAT" to study how it can help molecular biology.

It would seem that what has molecular biology to survival on the battlefield? It turns out that the most direct. DARPA is funding research works that study BIOSTAT.

Formally, BIOSTAT [gr. bio(s) life and stasis — immobility, standstill, stagnation] is the ability of living organisms (individuals or groups) to withstand environmental changes without adapting to these changes. In practice we are talking about slowing down the metabolic process, that is slowing the "biological time" in the body of a wounded soldier to the moment when he will provide medical assistance. Thus expanding the time window for treatment and increase the chances of survival.

Some organisms on Earth in fact able to slow its own metabolism. For example, it is capable of tardigrades — one of the hardiest creatures on our planet. In the state of biostase they withstand temperatures from -272°C to +150°C, can live without food, water and oxygen, great feel in the vacuum and under enormous pressure in the depths of the ocean. Some scientists believe that virtually indestructible tardigrades are able to survive until the time when our Sun will cease to exist. Of course, people disappear from the planet long before that.


BIOSTAT able and other animals. They use mechanisms somewhat different and it makes little sense to try to exactly replicate them for use on people. DARPA proposes to concentrate on slowing specific molecular processes at the protein level to the whole body harmoniously and gradually "slow down" work — and then painlessly back to normal state.

"At the molecular level, life is a set of continuous biochemical reactions, and the defining characteristic of these reactions is that they need catalysts — said Tristan McClure-Begley (Tristan McClure-Begley), Manager of the program "BIOSTAT". — These catalysts are delivered to cells in the form of proteins and large molecular machines that turn chemical and kinetic energy in biological processes. Our goal is to control these molecular machines and gracefully slow down the whole system, avoiding adverse effects when the intervention is completed."

The developers first plan to investigate more simple biochemical processes associated only with the antibodies, then find a more General solution for individual organs and tissues and then scaled to the level of the whole organism.

The name "BIOSTAT" for the scientific program sounds a bit futuristic, but this is not the only project of DARPA, which seemed to have come from the pages of science fiction novel. Previously, the Agency announced promising research on the conversion of plants into sensors to gather intelligence, develop guided bulletsthat change trajectory in flight, and uncrackable computers. So it's no surprise.

In the end, DARPA (formerly ARPA) funded the development of many fantastic for its time, the technologies that have entered the everyday life of modern people. Among them is the Internet (ARPANET), GPS system (the satellites Transit), the concept of time allocation in operating systems (OS Multics) and many others. In 2011, DARPA and NASA held a Symposium "Centennial spaceship"on the preparation of a manned flight into deep space.

Perhaps the development of DARPA's biostate also find application in other areas and not just on the battlefield. For example, it seems logical slowing of the biological clock for astronauts when traveling in deep space or terminally ill patients, pending the invention of drugs for their disease. And just for everyone who for some reason wants to take a "leap into the future" — to go to bed and Wake up in 10-20 years.

For more information about the program "BIOSTAT" DARPA will announce on 20 March 2018. The beginning of the webinar at 12:30 PM EDT.


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