The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is teaming up with three universities to work on solutions that would address and mitigate the effects travel can have on health and readiness.
Should the endeavor prove successful, service members would be better prepared for the effects travel has on sleep and fighting off illnesses caused by food-borne pathogens. Working with DARPA on the ADAPTER (Advanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness) program are:
• Northwestern University, with a project that would work to engineer and develop a wireless bioelectronic implant that would aid in adjusting to different time zones or changes in work-schedule times. The implant would release “peptide-based therapies to harmonize the warfighters’ central and peripheral circadian clocks,” DARPA announced.
• Stanford University, to develop another implant that would release melatonin – a sleep-inducing hormone – on demand for up to 30 days.
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to develop a device that when swallowed would “produce compounds that would both kill foodborne pathogens and neutralize toxins that may have been released by the pathogens.”
“The ADAPTER technology will alleviate operational limitations imposed by human physiology for two high-priority military needs – sleep and safe sustenance,” said Dr. Paul Sheehan, the project’s program manager.