Military Review

The Pentagon wants to edit the genome to "counter the action of biological weapons"

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The Pentagon is developing a new system of protection against biological weapons. The U.S. Advanced Research Agency considers DNA editing as one way to create a wide range of antibodies for biochemical threats.




Biological weapons are what the military does not like to talk about. Nevertheless, this is one of the most serious threats that exist today for both the army and the civilian population.

DARPA, the Pentagon Advanced Research Agency, has recently been actively involved in the development of proactive methods to combat biological threats. As one of the most promising areas, military scientists have chosen the editing of the genome, which will create a wide range of antibodies that can counter the main biological threats.

Our focus is on the aspect of protection and recovery, not improvement. All these technologies, they are dual-use. You can use them for evil - and DARPA is going to use them for good to protect our fighters.

said Stephen Walker, one of the project managers, in an interview with Breaking Defense magazine.

The military is on the way to editing the genome



Can you really protect a soldier on the battlefield from chemical weapons and biological weapons by controlling his genome, forcing the genome to produce proteins that will protect the soldier from the inside?

- wonders Walker.

DARPA is also working on the program “Create a vaccine for 20 000 people in 20 days as a virus that you have never seen before.” Scientists see the problem in that the time to develop, produce, accumulate and distribute one portion of the drug may be too long for future types of biological weapons.

Once you develop protection against one of the forms of artificial plague, the enemy can use gene editing tools to create another version, whose biochemical structure is so excellent that old antibodies no longer recognize it.

Reverse


Many diseases mutate this way all the time. This is why you can have a series of childhood vaccinations that protect against measles or chickenpox for the rest of your life, but you need to get a new flu shot every year. And no one has yet figured out how to stop a cold. 1918-1919 Spanish Flu killed more people than World War I; imagine it as a weapon.

Being able to find a solution for every possible case is becoming more and more insoluble due to synthetic biology and the ability of people anywhere in the world to do something a little different. You cannot accumulate enough vaccine or antiviral drugs to protect the population in the future.

- said Walker.

DARPA seeks to neutralize or even reverse the effects of Casxnumx CRISPR technology, an enzyme that has made the current breakthrough in gene editing possible in the first place. (It is worth noting that China is currently the leading country in the field of gene editing science and its technologies.)

The irony of gene editing is that one of the most important tools of modern science was not invented from scratch in the laboratory: it was found in nature. Many bacteria use CRISPR - a whole complex of DNA sequences - as a natural defense against virus invasion, allowing them to "recognize" viral DNA as a foreign body and then use the Cas9 protein to cut it into pieces, "killing" the virus (although technically viruses are not living things). Scientists redesigned CRISPR Cas9 to separate and reorganize genes.
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  1. Gray brother
    Gray brother 26 September 2019 17: 36
    +6
    And they could treat HIV or do something else useful. And not "biological weapons" to resist which no one uses.
    Their energy would be in a peaceful direction ...
    1. Tatyana
      Tatyana 26 September 2019 17: 39
      0
      Creation of the Japanese "detachment 731", but only in the USA / Penagon, all this reminds!
      And doctors with this idea, probably also from Japan!
      1. Gray brother
        Gray brother 26 September 2019 17: 41
        +7
        Quote: Tatiana
        The creation of the Japanese "detachment 731" in the United States is all like that!

        No, it’s cooler here - they want to get into a person’s genetic code, mess up there and then release patches for life)))
        1. Tatyana
          Tatyana 26 September 2019 17: 55
          +3
          I can imagine how many people they will only kill in their experiments!

          Interestingly, what nationality and "troops" and population of which country are they going to experiment in their experimental developments?
          1. Kontrik
            Kontrik 26 September 2019 18: 55
            +2
            Quote: Tatiana
            Interestingly, what nationality and "troops" and population of which country are they going to experiment in their experimental developments?

            Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, Russia was surrounded by incomprehensible US biological laboratories (Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Baltic states, etc.) sharply sharp mortality, incomprehensible in Georgia, etc.) ..
            That's what they create there Tatyana and so insolent near our borders ..?
            In the place of Israel or the United States, we must burn these laboratories for a long time with vacuum bombs .. What are we waiting for? Oh Russia, again we are waiting and hope for a chance ..
        2. Lexus
          Lexus 26 September 2019 22: 44
          +2
          It is still unknown what will come out more dangerous. Those objecting to both will be minus. Pharmaceutical companies have been acting like this for a long time - treating one, the other will certainly cripple.
          1. Gray brother
            Gray brother 26 September 2019 23: 19
            +3
            Quote: lexus
            It is still unknown what will come out more dangerous.

            Mutations at the genetic level constantly occur in the body, as a rule they do not affect anything at all, but in some cases they are fixed and this is how genetic diversity arises that ensures the evolution process.
            In fact, it doesn’t matter if these mutations occur spontaneously or are artificial, because each person has their own, they will be negative - well, someone’s kind will die out, well, figs with it.
            This will not affect humanity in any way - it has been spinning this roulette for more than a millennium, but if you take thousands of people and modify them of the same type, the number of sectors on this roulette will greatly decrease over time, and natural selection will not doze off - nature has much more ways to kill us than to keep alive, so it may turn out badly.
            1. Lexus
              Lexus 26 September 2019 23: 28
              +1
              Sensibly. Thank! good
              However, humanity itself copes well with self-destruction.
    2. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 26 September 2019 20: 11
      -1
      So they make technology to counter bioweapons, which can be used to treat common diseases.
    3. Chaldon48
      Chaldon48 26 September 2019 20: 32
      0
      Create genetically modified soldiers? But it will not be people!
      1. IL-18
        IL-18 26 September 2019 22: 52
        0
        Interestingly, viruses reproduce by replicating their RNA in the cell nucleus. That is, practically integrating into the DNA chain. It turns out that the achievement of the result creates a new sequence of amino acids. Consequently, offspring from such a parent can be obtained in the form, for example, of a tapinambur or a cockroach, or an elephant. After all, it’s like, something can underdevelop in the nucleus, or vice versa, add, breaking the number of chromosomes to a heap. After changing the genome during the service, a person will still be the same, and the sperm cell may be with 12, and not 23 chromosomes. And what will his wife have? I, of course, exaggerate. Only in the article there is no clear information. Maybe it's just that they are doing something against us, and disguise themselves with such articles. But, if during the day we lost the trawler and the floating base, then I see this as a planned sabotage. Quid pro quo is the best expression of courtesy. Moreover, these laboratories are within walking distance from the boundaries of the OB.
        1. Mikhail Drabkin
          Mikhail Drabkin 27 September 2019 05: 09
          +1
          You are writing IL-18
          Maybe they are doing something against us and are masking with such articles ...

          And this is from the article ..
          «Our focus is on protection and recovery, not improvement. All of these dual-use technologies. You can use them for evil - and DARPA is going to use them for good to protect our fighters.

          -DARPA is going to deal with the effects of gene editing .... gene editing.
          —There is nothing to add: the result is a genetically modified person, or human-like.
          -I admit that DARPA has good intentions. But I don’t believe- "... the road to hell was paved with good intentions .." And to whom, if not Russia, to know the postulate: "... they wanted the best, but it turned out as always ...".
          —- This is definitely not good news. Type “We will conduct an uncontrolled nuclear reaction (detonate a bomb) to give a peaceful atom to humanity ...” Prometheus-guardians of mankind in the American Defense Ministry were found !!!
        2. Chaldon48
          Chaldon48 27 September 2019 05: 12
          0
          Jerusalem artichoke or an elephant will not work, and it may even be unviable. All mutated genes are divided into flew and flew. If the dominant fruit flew, the baby will be born dead, the recessive fruit will be alive, but infertile. For example, a mule, a cross between a male donkey and a horse. He is alive, but barren. Semi-flies of a dominant nature can be a living fetus, but not viable and it will soon die or live, but it will be either completely incapable or ineffective, for example, down. The recession flew, for example, associated with female sex chromosomes in women will not manifest itself in any way, because women have two, for example, the hemophilia gene, and in men it will fully manifest itself.
          .
  2. The comment was deleted.
  3. Ali Kokand
    Ali Kokand 26 September 2019 17: 49
    +2
    Interestingly, the idea is not bad, but there are DNA protection systems in a multicellular organism. For the same immune system, cells with altered DNA are classified as an enemy and destroyed. If the failure of the body is doomed. Yes, and if all the same they succeed as there with heredity? What about the side effects? And some side effects may occur in other generations. All this is very fraught, and you can play it out. And so they got it over with viruses. Artificial HIV, scum think sit out in bunkers and hope for vaccines. A virus mutates ...
    1. Nevsky_ZU
      Nevsky_ZU 26 September 2019 18: 09
      0
      Quote: Ali Kokand
      Interestingly, the idea is not bad, but there are DNA protection systems in a multicellular organism. For the same immune system, cells with altered DNA are classified as an enemy and destroyed. If the failure of the body is doomed. Yes, and if all the same they succeed as there with heredity? What about the side effects? And some side effects may occur in other generations. All this is very fraught, and you can play it out. And so they got it over with viruses. Artificial HIV, scum think sit out in bunkers and hope for vaccines. A virus mutates ...

      Are you talking about HIV? Does he mutate? Will it be transmitted through the air?
      1. dzvero
        dzvero 26 September 2019 21: 51
        0
        Yes, it does mutate. Of course, not all mutants are "viable", but the relatively high mutation rate is one of the obstacles to the creation of a universal vaccine.
    2. Gray brother
      Gray brother 26 September 2019 18: 20
      0
      Quote: Ali Kokand
      For the same immune system, cells with altered DNA are classified as an enemy and destroyed.

      If this were so, then no one would have been ill with cancer.
    3. Doctor
      Doctor 26 September 2019 18: 58
      -1
      Interesting idea is not bad

      Even great. Biological weapons are the same Especially Dangerous Infections. Good luck to the Americans in the fight against plague, anthrax, etc.
    4. Polymer
      Polymer 26 September 2019 19: 34
      0
      Quote: Ali Kokand
      how is it with heredity?

      Perhaps they are not asking this question yet. What for? Turning several hundred thousand soldiers into "biorobots" and using them "for consumption" is not much for the "exceptional". If one of them managed to acquire heirs before the experiments - well, he didn't have time - well, okay, others will be found later.
      In general, "researchers of life" are like that, for them the consumption of human material is just numbers in the reports ...
  4. sergo1914
    sergo1914 26 September 2019 18: 16
    0
    It will be interesting to look at the US population over a generation. If it will, of course.
    1. armata_armata
      armata_armata 26 September 2019 19: 03
      0
      It will be interesting to look at the US population over a generation. If it will, of course.

      Hah, here the question is whether there will be a different population, they will instill their own from the biological, and according to us they will also shy away
      1. Gray brother
        Gray brother 26 September 2019 19: 09
        0
        Quote: armata_armata
        their from a biological vaccine

        Changes in the genome are made at the stage of the embryo, you can’t just take and give a person an injection after which a trunk will grow on his forehead.
        Therefore, it’s not easy to take and vaccinate everyone.
        1. Blackmokona
          Blackmokona 26 September 2019 20: 12
          -1
          It is possible, gene therapy is called and is actively used in developed countries.
          1. Gray brother
            Gray brother 26 September 2019 20: 25
            0
            Quote: BlackMokona
            It is possible, gene therapy is called and is actively used in developed countries.

            They take a cell, modify it with the help of a virus, multiply, transplant it back to the patient, without any guarantee of transferring new gene information to the patient’s native cells and with a high risk of developing a severe immune reaction.
            This is a dangerous business. In developed countries, deceased and complications such as leukemia have already been received because of this.
            1. dzvero
              dzvero 26 September 2019 22: 00
              0
              Gene therapy can be applied to the adult body. True, certain cells are modified, but not all. Most likely, with editing, they will go this way - to edit certain types of cells of the immune system (for example) or something else. Most of the methods and approaches have been worked out and there are rather high chances of success.
              1. Gray brother
                Gray brother 26 September 2019 22: 07
                0
                Quote: dzvero
                Most of the methods and approaches have been worked out and there are rather high chances of success.

                Each person is unique, pills "for all at once" will not work.
                I recommend reading:
                https://medbe.ru/materials/problemy-i-metody-biotekhnologii/osnovy-molekulyarnoy-terapii-gennaya-terapiya/
                1. IL-18
                  IL-18 26 September 2019 22: 59
                  -1
                  A working tool in genetic engineering is the virus. Here he wants replication capabilities, i.e. embed your RNA. There is no pill, neither universal, nor individual request
                  1. Gray brother
                    Gray brother 26 September 2019 23: 22
                    0
                    Quote: IL-18
                    A working tool in genetic engineering is the virus.

                    To change the wheel you need a balloon wrench. It remains to get the wheel and the car)))
                2. dzvero
                  dzvero 26 September 2019 23: 36
                  +1
                  Yes, every person is unique. But the basic processes and mechanisms are the same. Gene therapy is already being used for some hereditary diseases. Arsenal is there. The likelihood of success is high, especially if the goal is limited. Whether it will work out in practice is unknown. There are too many pitfalls. Especially with genome editing - in many places on the "map" of this area of ​​knowledge, "hic sunt dracones" is still written.
            2. Blackmokona
              Blackmokona 26 September 2019 23: 38
              -1
              So they treat mainly those who are dead without it. Not to mention that it is worth opening the instructions for any medicine and reading the contraindications section
  5. mark2
    mark2 26 September 2019 19: 30
    +1
    It is like preparations for using biological weapons.
    At first they think of protection. Or try and then on the circumstances.
  6. Was mammoth
    Was mammoth 26 September 2019 22: 11
    0
    The Pentagon is developing a new system of protection against biological weapons.
    And therefore it has its own laboratories in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine .... wink
    Well, that’s for peaceful purposes! Alas!
  7. IL-18
    IL-18 26 September 2019 22: 56
    -1
    Quote: Arzt
    Good luck to the Americans

    Oh well. They need them.
  8. Kelwin
    Kelwin 27 September 2019 01: 14
    0
    Well, well, come on, play out smart eggheads, only then don’t whine what they wanted best — not with your pork snout in the Kalash line, it’s known in advance that something will definitely go wrong and the trunk on your forehead will still grow - you will trunks)
  9. Shuttle
    Shuttle 27 September 2019 05: 49
    0
    The military at one time realized that it was foolish to solve military tasks with the help of weapons of mass destruction. And in the case of bacteriological weapons it is also impossible. Such a weapon can actually be "useful" only for the purpose of intimidation, i.e. for inducing fear, i.e. terrorist purposes.
    But no, the main peacekeepers of this planet must definitely find a way to spoil even human DNA. Demons.