Slowing Down Time to Save Lives
|Source: DARPA Bistasis|
The program is to buy extra time for soldiers' battlefield injuries as they await medical care. DARPA, the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency, is working to develop treatments that slow down the body's biochemical reactions, tipping it into a slowed or suspended state until medical help arrives. For those critically injured, time is a matter of life and death.
Biological Suspended State
This program is inspired by nature. Wood frogs and microscopic creatures called "water bears" can survive extreme radiation, dehydration and freezing. They do so by entering a state called cryptobiosis. All metabolic processes appear to have stopped but the organism is still alive.
Long Term Research
This DARPA program is just getting started. They're beginning at the cell and tissue level. Then they'll scale up to the whole organism. It will be considered a success when it slows down all measurable biochemical processes. Along with no damage when the system returns to normal speed.
Multi Uses for this Technology
Technologies developed in the Biostasis program are also expected to extend the shelf life of drugs, blood and biological reagents. But most importantly it's potentially life-saving for the critically injured.