Military Review

Genetic doping fighters. New DARPA Project


To the last drop

Every year, the loss of a well-trained fighter on the battlefield costs the state more and more. A pile of financial guarantees that have to be paid by the defense departments of different countries, as well as the inevitable reputation losses from the deaths of military personnel, make us look for new approaches to warfare. On the one hand, flirting with robotics - it is no coincidence that unmanned aerial vehicles have become a real mainstream lately. Still, training a good pilot is very expensive, and the “inhuman” device is much cheaper than the habitable one - it's not so bad to lose it. Despite the progress in the robotics of celestial technology, ground-based systems are still far from ubiquitous automation, or at least the transition to remote control. Therefore, they will try to improve the infantryman by other means - so that he fights more efficiently, dodges bullets, does not get tired and does not get sick. Initially, various exoskeletons should become assistants in this matter, but they can perform their functions for a limited time with the current energy storage technologies. Moreover, it is not clear how long such an exoskeleton can work, say, at temperatures below minus 20 degrees. Be that as it may, the most energy-efficient fighter is a well-trained, physically strong and healthy man. But now, even with the most optimal training regimen and nutrition, the military seems to have rested on the ceiling of human abilities. And, if we discard all the medical stuff that turns fighters into drug addicts, then it seems that the only way out to the "advanced settings" of the body is to upgrade the genotype.

General Electric Research, one of the participants in the Measuring Biological Aptitude project

In January 2019, DARPA, the forge of all the newest Americans in the military, launched the MBA (Measuring Biological Aptitude). The approximate terms of the project are limited to four years. The MBA attracted reputable offices: the research cluster of the giant General Electric - GE Research, the Florida Institute for Human Machine Cognition and the Livermore Laboratory. Lawrence.

At the moment, DARPA very vaguely explains the main areas of work of the team. It is clear that GE Research is working on special miniature needle sensors that read a lot of body parameters at different points in the life of a soldier. The second analytical instrument will be the tooth pad developed at the Institute for Human Machine Cognition. The Livermore Laboratory coordinates the work of units, analyzes and summarizes the results. The set of microneedles with which it seems that the Americans will be lapping their fighters will allow you to remotely monitor the psychophysiological state of the military. And at the most crucial moments of the battle, the unit commander will decide on the basis of sensor readings who to throw in the attack, and who is better to temporarily take to the rear for recovery. Most likely, the human mind will not be able to work with such a stream of data so quickly, so artificial intelligence will still give recommendations to the commander about the nature of the battle. That is, indirectly manage human resources.

Livermore Laboratory Lawrence

In lengthy discussions about the goals of DARPA, an analysis of the relationship between the human genotype and its phenotype (external manifestations) is especially notable. That is, Americans are trying to develop mechanisms for more effective implementation of the genetic potential inherent in humans - to enhance the expression of genes that a fighter needs. For this, according to representatives of DARPA, 70 subjects will take into account all the nuances of the body during periods of physical exertion, stress and rest. Psychologists will test subjects for quick wit, memory, attention and learning ability. Of course, the genome is carefully scanned for everyone beforehand and correlated with phenotypic characters. If useful “combat” genes are discovered that for some reason “sleep”, that is, do not express, researchers will look for a way to make them work. Here, DARPA, it seems, generally tackled the fundamental problem of studying the most complicated mechanisms of information transfer from genes to external phenotypic characters. Will three institutions be able to solve this problem? The question remains open. Nevertheless, for several decades, the leading genetics of the world have been struggling with this with varying success. As you know, with a constant set of genes in the phenotype of different individuals, a huge variety of external characters can be observed.

At the first stage of the work, scientists will look for a useful “design” for the ideal soldier. To do this, sensors are used to weigh the most successful fighters of the US Army, identify the most characteristic signs (for example, a low heartbeat in a stressful situation), and after analysis begin to search for the genetic background of the phenomenon. In this case, special attention will be paid to highly specialized professionals: snipers, sappers, pilots, scouts and operators of complex equipment. As a bonus to the Measuring Biological Aptitude program, a universal career guidance program for working with US Army recruits will appear. Here, for example, a young man came to enroll in a flight school. It’s good for everyone: health is excellent, smart, and psychologically stable, but a couple of genetic markers show that the future cadet will be much more successful in the work of a UAV operator or sniper. It remains only to correctly convince the future military man that he is not a "flyer".

All this история It looks very beautiful from the side, however, given the rich history of US military pharmacology, there are thoughts that DARPA is still considering other scenarios for the development of the program. Certain chemicals that enhance the work of certain groups of genes, as well as frank genetic doping, can become individual products of the project. The benefit in sports medicine has accumulated sufficient competencies in this regard.

Genetic Doping

Technologies for improving the physical performance of athletes and accelerating rehabilitation after competitions have long moved from purely chemical doping to the tracks of genetic improvement. One major benefit of genetic doping is its almost total secrecy from WADA officers. The first and only thing about the use of this type of doping in sports was the use in 2003 of a repoxigen drug from the pharmaceutical company Oxford BioMedica. Coach Thomas Springstein tried it on his minor wards, for which he was criminally liable. The repoxygen drug, by the way, was not intended for gene doping, but was a cure for anemia containing the gene (enclosed in the viral vector) of erythropoietin. Now on the sports horizon there are no scandalous News about exposing another athlete indulging in injections of other people's genes. This is because it is virtually impossible to expose: in some cases, doctors have learned to build up individual muscle bundles by local injections of genetic material. But in order to track this, the WADA officer needs to take a blood sample from the injection site, and this, of course, is impossible. At the same time, in all self-respecting sports powers accumulated considerable banks of genetic data of outstanding athletes, which are stored, of course, not only as an inheritance to descendants. Therefore, sports genetics and pharmacology, as well as the completion of the resonance project "Human Genome", created all the conditions for further modification of the military.

Genetic doping fighters. New DARPA Project

A progressive decrease in the cost of screening the human genome also plays into the hands. Already now, about 200 genes are known that are responsible for the physical abilities of a person, which, with the proper level of desire, can be dispersed well on a specific individual. Yes, of course, the military also needs genes for cognitive activity, but a couple of years of research is enough to track them. We will simply list a few of the most important biomarkers that are factors in the success of an athlete: the ACE gene or the “sport gene," whose different forms are responsible for endurance and speed-strength qualities; ACTN3 gene - an important factor in the success of physical training, is responsible for the structure of muscle fibers; UCP2 gene regulates fat and energy metabolism, that is, it allows the body to more efficiently burn "fuel"; the 5HTT and HTR2A genes are responsible for serotonin in the body - the hormone of happiness. In general, the nature and scale of the achievements of sports genetics allows us to draw the following conclusions. First, it seems that the ceiling in sports gene doping, if not reached, is about to be. And researchers with pharmaceutical companies need new markets. Secondly, the US military in connection with the initiative Measuring Biological Aptitude become ideal consumers of technology for gene doping. Most likely, in the framework of the study of the processes of gene expression in the human phenotype, the adaptation of sports technology to the military sphere is being considered. And microneedle sensors here can be very handy.

Of course, no one talks about the widespread invasion of combat genetically modified armed cyborgs with a star-striped flag, but a qualitative increase in the combat capabilities of the US Army may well take place in the foreseeable future.
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  1. rocket757
    rocket757 24 December 2019 18: 20
    All such games end very differently ....
    One globally unsuccessful experiment is enough for the planet!
    And then "Hello ZOMBILAND" "!!!
  2. Amateur
    Amateur 24 December 2019 18: 26
    Of course, no one talks about the widespread invasion of combat genetically modified armed cyborgs with a star-striped flag, but a qualitative increase in the combat capabilities of the US Army may well take place in the foreseeable future.

    1. l7yzo
      l7yzo 24 December 2019 21: 09
      Well, who said that science fiction films are a fairy tale)? And not a look from the future)
  3. bk316
    bk316 24 December 2019 18: 32
    which with the proper level of desire can be well to disperse on a specific individual.

    From here pliz in more detail ....
    1. Evgeny Fedorov
      24 December 2019 18: 41
      Enhanced gene expression using specific chemical inducers is a very common occurrence in genetic engineering projects.
      1. bk316
        bk316 24 December 2019 18: 53
        Enhanced gene expression using specific chemical inducers

        Wow, why don’t you even cure diabetics ...
        Give a reference about people not about tomatoes.
        It is about a single gene.
        1. Evgeny Fedorov
          24 December 2019 19: 06
          And what about diabetes? He has a lot of reasons for it. And to restore, for example, the destroyed islets of Langerhans (they synthesize insulin) by any gene interventions will not work. As well as it will not work to grow the arm lost in battle. And about the controlled expression of genes in humans, please
          1. bk316
            bk316 24 December 2019 19: 23
            He has a lot of reasons for it.

            I mean genetic:
            The genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes is familial, and often with concomitant obesity. About 20 genes have already been discovered in which polymorphisms are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

            And about the controlled expression of genes in humans, here you are, please

            I know what gene expression is. I even know about the theoretical possibility and attempts to use it in the gene therapy of cancer. I asked you where, using something like gene expression, as you wrote successfully "rocked" any individual gene.
            1. Evgeny Fedorov
              24 December 2019 19: 55
              I quote.
              Four genes were identified: DAAM4, IFNAR1, PALLD, STK2A, the expression of which under radiation exposure increases in the radioresistant cell line and decreases in radiosensitive cell lines. Using the program
              PANTHER three signaling pathways were found - Wnt signaling pathway, Interferon signaling pathway, p53 signaling pathway - in which these genes are involved and which are common to the studied cell lines. A significant difference in
              activation of the found paths in radioresistant and radiosensitive cell lines.
              It's enough? Of course, no one will irradiate a soldier for the sake of gene expression, but they still managed to pump 4 genes. I’ll clarify that these are 2016 open sources related to medical research. Nobody will write about the achievements of sports pharmacology (read, the science of doping) in open sources.
              And here’s another doctorate in biology.
              And more.
              though not as straightforward as I wrote in the article, but still ...
              It tells in particular that
              Muscles in the muscles of which scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard under the supervision of Professor Lee Sweeney introduced an additional copy of the gene of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1), they increased muscle mass by 15-30% faster than usual - and this is with a sedentary lifestyle.
              That is, one of the ways to swing existing genes can be to introduce additional copies of the genes. Mice are mammals, so it can very well be extrapolated to humans.
              1. bk316
                bk316 24 December 2019 20: 10
                Я IMMEDIATELY asked

                I asked you where, with the help of something, for example, gene expression, how did you write successfully "swing" any single gene.

                Give a reference about people not about tomatoes.

                You gave two examples
                - the first is not about the buildup (to find increased interferon in vitro is not to increase stamina or at least make insulin) and about FOUR GENES at once.
                -SECOND NOT ABOUT PEOPLE

                That is, you can’t give an example?

                This is what I mean at all: more accurately it is necessary to have a "sufficient level of desire" is not enough yet research, discovery and creation of new technologies WHICH ARE NOT yet. And then, like Rogozin, unloved here, with a lunar elevator, which can be built with a "sufficient level of desire"
                1. Evgeny Fedorov
                  24 December 2019 20: 42
                  Do not compare with Rogozin. Invalid example. What do you say about the doctoral? Or is it not there again?
                  1. haron
                    haron 25 December 2019 09: 25
                    Quote: Yevgeny Fedorov
                    Do not compare with Rogozin. Invalid example. What do you say about the doctoral? Or is it not there again?

                    Unfortunately, my colleague does not have time, so I will answer for him.
                    I will try to reveal the main meaning of "genetic pharmacology".
                    The meaning of the variations of the genes indicated by you, or rather protein receptors - targets, implies that for them it is possible to synthesize an individual set of protein mediators that will stimulate or suppress specific receptors, for a specific time, with a specific intensity and in a particular individual. Absolutely according to such a system, individual poisons work. Everything else is from the evil one.
                    To express a specific gene in the whole organism, especially growing, means dooming this organism to imbalance and death in the near future (from oncology, the consequences of changes in the pH of systems, etc.). Mice are good, but how many have survived to retirement?
                    Local gene expression is carried out through the application of individually created steroid-like proteins with anabolic activity. In order to determine their presence, the wada must know the athlete’s gene code, which is not legal.
                    1. haron
                      haron 25 December 2019 12: 14
                      ps: add.
                      non-weightless methamphetamine, sydnocarb, mesocarb, modaphenyl ... and their cyclic low-molecular-weight counterparts are not selective agonists and antagonists of at least a dozen receptors (in reality, no one counted for this individually). At the same time, the 5HT group of serotonin receptors described in the article is not at all limited to the 5HT2A subgroup - there are at least seven main subgroups, and each of them still has subgroups, for example, 5HT7B. And most importantly, each subgroup has several genetic variants that differ in one or more amino acids in the sequence of the structure - this is what is determined by the genome.
                      The non-selective and cross-exposure of "amphetamines" during stress and physical fatigue, on the D, A, TAAR, H, MT and 5HT .... groups, makes the result poorly predictable.
                      Knowing the state of a person at a particular moment in time, he can enter an individually "prepared" protein that acts only on a specific subgroup of his receptor (or a mixture of them). Accordingly, the vector of behavior will be predictable with a high degree of certainty.
                2. l7yzo
                  l7yzo 24 December 2019 21: 15
                  I'm afraid I'll upset you. If you do not know something, this does not mean that it is not)
        2. l7yzo
          l7yzo 24 December 2019 21: 14
          Because it is used in the army in special units. And since 80 years since Afghanistan they began to apply them.
          1. haron
            haron 25 December 2019 14: 58
            Quote: l7yzo
            And since 80 years since Afghanistan they began to apply them.

            Father-in-law, you want to say that until 1989 the entire gene code was decrypted in our country, and none of the enemies knew about it?
            1. l7yzo
              l7yzo 27 December 2019 04: 21
              I am glad that you possess the skill of manipulation in a conversation with an opponent.
              I want to say what I said. That experiments with the genome have been going on for a long time, the experiments of the Nazis ss are known, and what a sin, everyone who can can investigate this topic. And who, if not soldiers and prisoners, is the first on the list for tests in action of drugs / technologies ??
              1. haron
                haron 27 December 2019 11: 02
                Quote: l7yzo
                who, if not soldiers and prisoners, are first on the list for tests in action of drugs / technologies ??

                But nothing that the function of DNA, its structure in the form of a double helix and other basic data, could not be understood until the end of the 50s?
                What genome and what kind of nation are you talking about ?! In what years did they understand how DNA can be divided into genes of individual working proteins?
                Read the history of the issue and the materiel of genetics, and then write sizzling posts.
                PS: I am already silent about when the genome understood how to predict the three-dimensional structure of the working protein. But do not synthesize them. This is what the article is about.
  4. awdrgy
    awdrgy 24 December 2019 18: 32
    That is, our opponents will not only have "moral monsters" but also have several "aggregates" in their pants? Or is it a tail?)
  5. the finish
    the finish 24 December 2019 18: 46
    I have relatives in Livermore and near Dublin. Better Peace-World.
  6. knn54
    knn54 24 December 2019 18: 46
    Mutant soldiers.
  7. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 25 December 2019 00: 24
    Another ten years and the genome will become a mandatory factor for the diagnosis of a doctor
    in any hospital, clinic and health insurance fund. Like a general blood test now.
    And in the military commissions too.
  8. Undecim
    Undecim 25 December 2019 00: 55
    The author creates a detective story, inventing a story on the go and letting out a fog of mystery with phrases like "At the moment, DARPA is very vague about the main directions of the team's work."
    At the moment, DARPA explains the main direction of the Measuring Biological Aptitude (MBA) program very transparently - the development of methods for the most effective selection and physical training of military personnel for specific tasks, as well as effective monitoring of the physical condition in the process of professional activity, since there are dozens of existing methods years and they are clearly outdated and far from the achievements of modern science.
    That is, we are talking about a system that, on the one hand, will make it possible to determine as accurately as possible the suitability of a candidate for a certain type of activity, on the other hand, to develop the corresponding abilities as efficiently as possible in the process of preparation and professional activity, and the activity itself in order to minimize the influence of the "human factor" as much as possible.
    As for fabrications about "secret plans" about genetic doping in relation to military personnel, there is no mystery here. They are working on this in the USA and not only in the USA and they do not hide it, but this is a question of other people and other programs.
    For example, the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is researching the use of genomics, genetic engineering, and gene therapy to increase military resilience to the damaging factors of WMD.
    National Defense University conducts research on toxicogenomics.
    US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center - Biopharmaceutical Engineering.
    Given that the information on these works is in the public domain, practical results with respect to people are still far away. That's when they secret - then the centaurs on the battlefield become a reality.
  9. Cowbra
    Cowbra 25 December 2019 04: 02
    Be that as it may, the most energy-efficient fighter is a well-trained, physically strong and healthy man

    And this is a fact
    1. Minato2020
      Minato2020 25 December 2019 05: 17
      Quote: Cowbra
      Be that as it may, the most energy-efficient fighter is a well-trained, physically strong and healthy man

      And this is a fact

      It is advisable with a certificate from a psychiatrist and vaccinations.
  10. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 25 December 2019 13: 37
    Quote: Evgeny Fedorov
    Mice are mammals, so it can very well be extrapolated to humans.

    It would be surprising if the military did not use any, even the most controversial, achievements in this area.
    The only thing that limits them is the necessary time for implementation.
    Hitler (judging by Speer's memoirs) forbade the continuation of research, the implementation of which would require more than three years.
  11. gridasov
    gridasov 27 January 2020 19: 35
    Real and applicable in practice may not be similar fantasies about genes and their dispersal, but the effective formation of human thoughts stimulating the development or rather the expansion of certain abilities. The thinking apparatus is a key element of a person adapting it to any circumstances of existence. It is worthwhile to understand that the positive development of certain qualities through the thought process forms a whole system of other positive qualities. And which is very important for the entire period of life. In spite of this, any intervention and the formation of individual qualities by drug methods forms an unbalanced growth of some body resources at the expense of others, which is always deplorable in the final result. The methods of forming thought processes are associated with deep relaxing processes so that it is possible to expand mobilization and concentration thoughts. All this is also carried out on the map of algorithms of higher points of psychophysical potential and lower. These are again big data combining techniques