The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known by the acronym DARPA, is the Pentagon’s super-secret entity responsible for developing all kinds of advanced weapons and other systems, including your ability to read this story. Now they are helping the Pentagon make a better soldier.
Business Finance News reports that DARPA has begun a heavily funded project to “enhance human ability in war zones, by altering the genetic code (recipe) of their soldiers.” The aim is to achieve battlefield supremacy by making soldiers who lack empathy and are smarter, more focused, and much stronger than enemy counterparts.
The research is taking place under a relatively new scientific field called genetic engineering, wherein scientists conduct research and experiment with the “cookbook” of a person’s genetic make-up.
Business Finance News stated:
All life forms have their own recipe, and just like food, there are a finite number of ingredients to choose from. Combination of different ingredients in different proportions makes different life forms. Genetic engineers are practically capable of making glow in the dark babies, by simply adding certain genetic codes of jellyfish into the human genetic code.
The research that has been conducted so far looks promising. It suggests that DARPA’s so-called super soldiers could one day even grow new limbs they have lost in combat, which is something that has been tested already on mice.
As for the part of the brain that is responsible for empathy and mercy, scientists have found that it can be effectively shut off using gene therapy. This would essentially create a soldier who is oblivious to fear, fatigue and emotions.
However, what makes this even more disturbing, BFN noted, is the “Human Assisted Neutral Devices program” that focuses on brain control. The result could be a next-generation biological war “machine” controllable via a sophisticated “joystick.”
A zombie soldier, if you will.
DARPA’s efforts to create super soldiers dates back years. As reported by Wired magazine in December 2009 as the U.S. was sending a “surge” of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, researchers were working with pigs to find a way stop bleeding injuries by turning them into semi-undead.
“If it works out,” Wired‘s Katie Drummond wrote, “we humans could be the next ones to be zombified.”
DARPA awarded Texas A&M University’s Institute for Preclinical Studies a $9.9 million contract to develop medical treatments that would extend a “golden period” when traumatically injured troops would have the best chance of surviving massive blood loss. Researchers were aware that the evacuation and treatment of such individuals in the thick of battle within the all-important one-hour window is often impossible.
Drummond reported that the institute’s research was based on previous DARPA-funded projects, one of which theorized that humans might one day mimic the hibernation abilities of squirrels — who are able to survive unscathed for months on end through winter — by using a pancreatic enzyme that humans have in common.
In August 2012, the UK’s Daily Mail reported that DARPA research was focusing on “GMO” troops — making them run as fast as Olympic champions and able to regenerate lost limbs.
The paper further reported:
According to the U.S. Army’s plans for the future, their soldiers will be able to carry huge weights, live off their fat stores for extended periods and even regrow limbs blown apart by bombs.
The plans were revealed by novelist Simon Conway, who was granted behind-the-scenes access to the Pentagon’s high-tech Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
DARPA has long experimented with exoskeletons, which are machines that assist normal soldiers in ways that permit them to lift weights far in excess what a normal human being can lift and run at far greater speeds.
The agency’s most controversial research has been in the area of genetically modifying a human to perform tasks and function in ways that are currently not feasible, the Daily Mail noted.
In particular, modifications would include developing soldiers who could go for as many as 40 hours without sleep, carry heavy loads, go days without eating and communicate telepathically.