|Genetically Manipulated Super Soldiers of the Future|
|Post by DAMIEN GAYLE/Daily Mail|
|Sunday, 19 August 2012 00:00|
According to the U.S. Army's plans for the future, their soldiers will be able to carry huge weights, live off their fat stores for extended periods and even regrow limbs blown apart by bombs.
The plans were revealed by novelist Simon Conway, who was granted behind-the-scenes access to the Pentagon's high-tech Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
With a budget of almost $2billion a year DARPA, established in 1958 after the USSR's first successful space mission shocked America, has a goal of maintaining U.S. technological dominance on the battlefield.
Among it's many ambitious projects, the agency is working on an exoskeleton that will allow soldiers to run faster and lift prodigious weights. But its most controversial work involves genetic modification.
DARPA is working on triggering genes that will make soldiers' bodies able to convert fat into energy more efficiently so they are able to go days without eating while in the warzone.
With plump soldiers able to go on deployment for days living just off their own body fat, that would free up space in their kit bags hitherto used for ration packs.
One area of success has been in shutting off the trigger of sleep. A drug was tested on U.S. Army helicopter pilots that enabled them to stay up longer than 40 hours, with their levels of concentration actually improving after nearly two days without rest.
It is hoped to replace the amphetamine-based drugs that have previously been used to keep servicemen alert during operations.