DARPA seeks ways to "slow down biological time"

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DARPA, the US development agency for new military technology, has released the "Biostasis" program, trying to gain time for soldiers seriously injured on the battlefield. Researchers hope to slow down biochemical processes in living cells to prolong the time they collapse. According to DARPA, the idea is "to slow down a life to save a life."

To achieve their goal, scientists seek inspiration in nature. Tardigradas, for example, can enter a state called "cryptobiosis" that allows them to survive in extreme conditions, such as very cold or high-radiation environments.

For this project, DARPA accepts proposals from scientists. To be successful, the method used must be able to introduce an anabolic organism without causing too much damage.

The agency is known for the strange projects it finances. DARPA wants to get plants to be used in espionage, surveillance and monitoring operations. The Advanced Plant Technologies (APT) program aims to develop "organic sensors" capable of sustaining themselves. They would monitor their area and report specific incidents.

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