DARPA Implant Will Reduce Jet Lag and Control the Body

DARPA’s new ADvanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness (ADAPTER) program aims to develop a travel adapter for the human body, an implantable or ingestible bioelectronic carrier that can provide warfighters control over their own physiology.

The implant will improve sleep and possibly eliminate bacteria that cause diarrhea and food poisoning.

The integrated system will be designed to entrain the sleep cycle – either to a new time zone or back to a normal sleep pattern after night missions – and eliminate bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea after ingestion of contaminated food and water. ADAPTER will provide a transient, non-genetic means of extending and enhancing warfighter readiness.

“The goal of the ADAPTER program is to produce the therapies within the body itself. ADAPTER will manage a warfighter’s circadian rhythm, halving the time to reestablish normal sleep after a disruption such as jet lag or shift lag. It will also provide safe food and water by eliminating in vivo the top five bacterial sources of traveler’s diarrhea. Both will enhance the health and mobility of warfighters,” described Paul Sheehan, Ph.D., program manager for the DARPA ADAPTER program.

Leveraging known strategies, solutions, and molecules, performers will choose one of two application tracks:
(1) in vivo compound delivery to entrain circadian rhythm/restore sleep-cycles; or
(2) in vivo decontamination of food and water from bacterial causes of traveler’s diarrhea.


14 thoughts on “DARPA Implant Will Reduce Jet Lag and Control the Body”

  1. “Warfighter” still sounds ridiculous and it is not getting better with more frequent use.

  2. Is that the reason the skunk in my back yard is coming when it is kitty dinner time? Funny things. Stamp their front feet on the ground togther…do their utmost to intimidate. Cats just walk by. If they could roll their eyes they would.
    I think it has to acctually be frightened to spray…or it is just saving ammo. The racoons got it a few times.

  3. If you look into the role of sleep, which has been looked at a bit. You see that there are a lot house cleaning processes, lots of waste products cleaned up, some exercise of pathways that are needed, and could otherwise disappear because they are not used, others that were used heavily need replenishment of the little chemical bundles that are made in the soma (the body of the neuron) and of course important long-term memory consolidation.

  4. That’s why you need to take Alzheimer’s drugs at the same time to clean the plaque out of your brain…

  5. I seem to recall they did more than that with military Modafinil testing, and found no damage at all. And it has now displaced use of amphetamines, which really were rather problematic.

    In a military context, of course, the risks of falling asleep at the wrong time can be pretty high, so acceptable risks are proportionately high, too.

    Modafinil has the usual list of possible side effects, none of them both severe AND common. People have done testing on how long you can really go without sleeping using it, and generally have chickened out after less than a week without sleep, with the long term effects of not sleeping being rather speculative. People assume they must exist, but they haven’t been demonstrated.

    Keep in mind that the usual damage from keeping people up for excessive periods of time mostly relate to just how extreme you have to get to prevent sleep if the brain’s sleep timer is still trying to force you to sleep. To get much beyond 24 hours awake without something like Modafinil, you need heavy stimulant abuse or something amounting to physical torture.

  6. Now, if they want to keep people up 22 hours a day or something, that is going to do brain damage. Don’t be stupid DARPA.

  7. This has got to be one of the more stupid ideas DARPA has invested in.
    I came up with a very easy and cheap cure to jet lag 20 years ago when I was taking a course in physiological psychology, and it has worked for me every time. Get a very bright flashlight, close your eyes and put it against your skin, in the upper inner corner of your eye socket. Do this on both sides for 3 minutes at the new desired waking time (the day before you get there). Nap if you need to after, but you will likely wake or be ready to wake the next morning at the same time you did the flashlight thing. Obviously, remove it, if it gets too hot. And curious impatient people; don’t do this when you don’t want to wake up.
    There. No need to throw away millions of dollars.
    It is not bright enough unless, in the dark, against the palm of your hand, you can see light glowing through your hand. And it needs to be small enough to get in that space by your eye. The point is that the light needs to enter your brain when you shine it.
    You have diarrhea? They already have pills for that. If they have half a brain they already give you those. Why does that need reinvented? What is the point of wasting doctor time with that? Just use them if and when needed.
    If you are using local water, just have an ultraviolet LED canteen that can kill whatever. There are also those special straws. How is this hard?
    Who is the bozo?
    And since when do they put someone into battle the first day they enter the region anyway?

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