Army Seeks Fountain of Youth in Body's Powerhouses
2008 02 04

By Noah Shachtman | blog.wired.com


The hip-hop world has been all a-flutter, lately, over accusations that 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige took human growth hormone, or HGH, to get big and stay youthful. Army scientists want their soldiers to stay strong and spritely, too. But they're taking a slightly different approach, in a new program for "Optimized Human Performance." Instead of HGH, the Army is looking for its fountain of youth in mitochondria -- the body's powerhouses, which turn sugars into energy.

"The modern Army is constrained by biology. Highly qualified and very experienced soldiers routinely leave the Army because they are old," a new military request for proposals complains. These long-time soldiers, alas, are finding that "their physical and/or cognitive performance capabilities are significantly less than that of a 20 year old."
The biological basis of this reduction in performance capability may be an injury, but in most cases is simply due to the reduced efficiency of old mitochondria, resulting in reduced levels of energy (adenosine triphosphate) provided to the body to power cognitive and physical tasks.

The ability to stimulate mitochondrial energy production would extend the time that soldiers remain fit for duty, boost soldier physical and performance capabilities, and expand the age range of suitable recruits. It would also eliminate the current dichotomy of the ideal soldier being optimized both for youth (high performance capabilities) and experience.


"The past twenty years have seen a revolutionary breakthrough in understanding how mitochondria function," the Army adds. And military-funded scientists have tried to take advantage of that increased knowledge, researching new ways to use mitochondria to give soldiers more strength and stamina.

Oxford University biochemists look for ways to get mitochondria to feed on fats, instead of sugars -- without all the nasty side-effects of a constant cheeseburger binge. If the scientists are successful, small rations of the ketone cuisine could boost a soldier's stamina, and maybe even keep him nourished for days at a time.


Lan Bo Chen, a pathologist at the Dan Farber Cancer Institute in Cambridge, MA, combined green tea extract with a B-vitamin cocktail for a drink boosts the overall production of mitochondria. In series of trials, high-performance cyclists saw a small, but significant, increase in their times. The Army is now testing the drink out in its Natick, MA Soldier Systems Center.

In contrast, this new Army program has much more far-reaching goals.

The world contains approximately 4.2 billion people over the age of twenty. Even a small enhancement of cognitive capacity in these individuals would probably have an impact on the world economy rivaling that of the internet.


Article from: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/01/armys-age-retar.html



Related Articles
Supercharging Soldiers' Cells
Pentagon's PCs Bend to Your Brain
Squirrel = Super Soldier?
Stronger, Tougher, Faster: Building Next-Gen G.I.s
Transgressive technologies: Does a posthuman dystopia await us?
Aubrey de Grey, Artificial Intelligence, Singularity, Longevity and the Holy Grail
In A First, Scientists Develop Tiny Implantable Biocomputers
The next big bang: Man meets machine
Science's new blend mixes man and beast


Latest News from our Front Page

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.
2014 08 20
While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous "killer robots," the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown. Security robots have become a special area of interest for developers. Britain ...
Is Michael Brown A National Hero?
2014 08 19
From: Brother Nathanael: I don’t know about you but I revolt against crowning Michael Brown a “national hero.” Better the crown go to Darren Wilson who according to the Ferguson Police Report shot Brown in self-defense. Yet there’s already a bounty on his head. And the media eats it up. For whether it’s NBC; CNN …or the New York Times; the spin is that ...
Toxoplasmosis – The Revealing Behavior and Effects of Parasites
2014 08 19
A fascinating interview with neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky on toxoplasmosis and the behavior of a seemingly intelligent parasite. The parallels to archonic-type influences are astounding. A must see. From: zengardner.com For context, please listen to John Lash on White Genocide & The Archontic Infection
Emmy Awards 2014 - Spoilers! Leaked Clip for Best Psychopath!!
2014 08 19
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!!! Leaked clip from the 66th Annual Emmy Awards scheduled to air August 25th, 2014. Winner announced for best Psychopath of the year! Video from: youtube.com Can’t get enough of those warm Zionist in Hollywood. Joan Rivers: "Palestinians deserve to be dead"
UN calls for tests on passengers in Ebola crackdown
2014 08 19
Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia. Ebola-affected countries should immediately begin exit screening all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings, the UN health agency urged yesterday. The risk of the Ebola virus being transmitted during air travel is low because, unlike infections ...
More News »