DUDE SCIENCE: Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal Beings with Genetic Kill-Switches

Thanks to Anthony for passing this one on.

“The Pentagon’s mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. DARPA is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military’s advantage, creating “synthetic organisms” that can live forever — or can be killed with the flick of a molecular switch.

As part of its budget for the next year, Darpa is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement.” The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living, breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to “produce the intended biological effect.” Darpa wants the organisms to be fortified with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters can “ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”

Of course, many of these fascinating mostly-rumored projects amount to nothing, like the much-ballyhooed “Paranormal Activities” branch that was studying alternative methods of conducting warfare via New Age stuff like thought projection and what have ye.   This project certainly reeks of what I like to call  “Dude Science”.. there’s a certain ballsiness to the description of Project BioDesign that hides the Promethean intent behind militaristic Bravado.   Think of it!  To create life!  And to have these… slave creatures, that we can basically kill (“turn off”) at a whim.  It’s straight out of a Science Fiction novel.  Would they be capable of reason?  Would they be “citizens” in a legal sense?  Would they have souls?  Are these things simply the government’s own technologically created ghoulas, our own army of zombie soldiers, made by modern day Frankensteins?  It’s a fun idea to wrangle with and plenty people already have … in books.    Project BioDesign takes the fantasy one more step closer to reality.  Or, perhaps, it will be one giant waste of money.  Too early to tell yet.

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included

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6 responses to “DUDE SCIENCE: Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal Beings with Genetic Kill-Switches

  1. I’ve read elsewhere that the Government is working on an ATAV-All Terrain Aerial Vehicle, that would be able to operate on the ground and in the air.

  2. Interesting. I couldn’t find anything on it, besides this, which isn’t what you mean: http://www.youtube.com/user/fasttrackdriver A ground AND air vehicle is a real Dude Science project, I agree.

  3. Yeah– uh-huh… If Henry Kaiser were still alive or Curtis Wright still made our aircraft it might have a chance but not with the mentally defective over-bureaucratized wonks we have in charge who can’t copulate except if they can do it on an excell spread sheet. This will, if true, be an enormous boondoggle wasting billions to no effect– again. We’re already withdrawing the sophisticated bomb-sniffing robots that don’t work and replacing them with dogs. The drones are proving to be an embarrassment more than an aid, and we already have short-cuircited the firing computers on air-to-air combat because the computers alone shoot down our own planes with as eaual ease as the enemy. Most likely the only thing that will come out of this is an android that has the capacity to do not mouch more than run out for coffee and even then he’ll get the order wrong.

    What’s the point of a kill switch?

    I miss the days of the good old Soviet Union. Not much glitz technology, but at least you got weapons that worked.


  4. The article implies that the kill switch is for when the created “life” becomes uppity and turns on their masters. For the most part, I agree with you, these little news bits from the boys in the back room are amusing, but unlikely. Fun for the Oh-Gee-Whiz factor if nothing else.

    as for the Drones, well, that’s a broad brush to paint with. I know the recon drones (unarmed, cheap) have been invaluable from an intell perspective. Light years cheaper than a human pilot and often returning the same information for about a twentieth of the price.

    Mr. N.

  5. You get better intel from taking a village and putting everyone through the KGB treadmill type interogation.

  6. But Otto, they now know that you have intel.