DARPA Working On New “DNA Altering” Vaccines For Troops
DARPA works on vaccines for troops
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The elite Pentagon research unit that helped create the Internet and stealth fighter jets is now taking on diarrhea.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is dedicated to maintaining the U.S. military’s technology edge, wants to develop a commercially viable medicine that delivers quick, temporary protection for soldiers from a variety of diseases such as the flu, diarrhea and malaria.
Such bugs are the bane of troops sent abroad. Diarrhea struck as many as 60 percent of deployed troops at the start of the Iraq war, said Mark Riddle, a U.S. Navy commander who performs military medical research at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md. More than 1 million service days were sacrificed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “due to severe diarrhea in deployed forces,” DARPA said in program documents on a federal website.
“There’s a sense of urgency and you’re constantly thinking about where the next latrine is,” said Riddle, who works on a separate military project studying diarrhea. “In that kind of situation you start wondering how well a soldier can perform, target bad guys and do his or her mission.”