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Does Humanity Need DARPA's Travel Adapter for Human Body?
Lemme think for a sec ... nah, thanks.
I don’t know whether the appropriate reaction to this is laughing or crying. Read the original from DARPA, and please let me know how you feel about this wonder.
Here is how I feel. To be honest, it reminds me of the Brezhnev era Soviet Union—pretense and decay all around—and a typical “communist party” meeting where mouths would open, lips would move, lofty words would be said out loud with conviction—and absolutely none of it would be “real.” All performance.
Now, can they get billions of dollars for this in funding? Sure as hell they can. Printing money is easy!
But—the atrocity / absurdity of the notion aside—does it mean they’ll deliver anything useful? They will probably deliver something, and the disposable cannot meat “warfighters” will be the lab rats, as usual. Hey, someone has to “absorb” the price of deceit! That’s business as usual!
But methinks, if these good sirs at DARPA are so technologically savvy and can magically modulate the sleep cycle and the microbiome, how come the nature keeps winning? How come every time the proverbial “scientists” congratulate themselves on “defeating nature,” it turns out that they only defeated it in their imagination? And how come, in America alone, hundreds of thousands of people now get severe and life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections just from hospital stay?
On a side note, this peasant is wondering if these good sirs can maybe do something useful and work on “eliminating” the unsavory mold from common household products and the now officially retracted but formerly safe and effective J&J shots (and also the safe and effective Tylenol)? No? Fine. We are probably best off without their “help,” anyway.
Seems to me, we’ve entered the cray-cray phase of our civilization where people just say things. Whatever the social engineers want—just say things.
“We’ll live forever in a computer.” “Her penis.” “Build Back Better.” “Travel adapters for the human body.”
Sure, why not. Contagious mold and fungi in the hospitals, immune systems in a free fall—and travel adapters for the human body. Sounds great.
Warfighters are travelers and thus suffer from travelers’ ailments including disrupted sleep cycles and limited access to safe food and water. Warfighters who have not slept well have lower alertness, weaker athletic performance, and greater disorientation. Current approaches to restoring wakefulness often lean on chemical methods that disrupt downstream sleep patterns and lead to exhaustion. For sustenance, warfighters typically rely on military-supplied food, which is logistically burdensome and may lead to warfighters having to consume local food and water that could cause otherwise preventable diseases, notably diarrhea. Data from 2003 to 2004 demonstrate that 2/5ths of diarrhea cases among warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan required medical attention.1
Through advances in medical devices and synthetic biology, DARPA’s new ADvanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness (ADAPTER) program aims to develop a travel adapter for the human body, an implantable or ingestible bioelectronic carrier that can provide warfighters control over their own physiology. The integrated system will be designed to entrain the sleep cycle – either to a new time zone or back to a normal sleep pattern after night missions – and eliminate bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea after ingestion of contaminated food and water. ADAPTER will provide a transient, non-genetic means of extending and enhancing warfighter readiness.
“The goal of the ADAPTER program is to produce the therapies within the body itself. ADAPTER will manage a warfighter’s circadian rhythm, halving the time to reestablish normal sleep after a disruption such as jet lag or shift lag. It will also provide safe food and water by eliminating in vivo the top five bacterial sources of traveler’s diarrhea. Both will enhance the health and mobility of warfighters,” described Paul Sheehan, Ph.D., program manager for the DARPA ADAPTER program.
Leveraging known strategies, solutions, and molecules, performers will choose one of two application tracks: (1) in vivo compound delivery to entrain circadian rhythm/restore sleep-cycles; or (2) in vivo decontamination of food and water from bacterial causes of traveler’s diarrhea.
“Move fast and break things,” right? And by “things” they mean “us.”
UPDATE: Additional links, courtesy of Nikki Florio (thank you, Nikki!):
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