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Darpa creating immortal creatures?

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    Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:44pm
Anybody hear about this?

Basically, Darpa is working on a project called BioDesign where they actually create living creatures capable of doing something (the article doesn't specify what they'd be doing) and then they "fortify them with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death", allowing them to "live indefinitely". Though they are supposedly including some sort of "genetic kill switch" so they can be killed if something goes wrong. Crazy stuff.

What do you guys think? I'm especially curious to see what deeply religious people have to say about this technology, should it show significant success, since these scientists are basically creating life, in some form, and potentially destroying it at will. I mean, they won't be cloning people or anything but they will be making/destroying simple lifeforms.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rednekk98 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FROG MAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 9:55pm
sounds similar to all the space exploration talk, big talk, but it all happens way slower then we would like it to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gatyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 11:14pm
Sounds like we are one more step closer towards immortality.

...Lets hope they find it before I'm out of my prime.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote __sneaky__ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 11:18pm
I see this ending well...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThatGuitarGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 11:32pm
If they can bolster cell resistance to death, does that give the people that give this to Wolverine like aging factor?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2010 at 11:44pm
Without any scientific backing of my own, I'd be willing to say this will go nowhere.

Why? If it's even real, 6 million dollars isn't much to fund a super soldier project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mod98commando Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 12:41am
Originally posted by rednekk98 rednekk98 wrote:

First thing that came to mind



LOL

Originally posted by stratoaxe stratoaxe wrote:

Without any scientific backing of my own, I'd be willing to say this will go nowhere.

Why? If it's even real, 6 million dollars isn't much to fund a super soldier project.


You never know. I doubt they could get the whole job done with 6 mil based on the cost of other ambitious projects in the past (and the fact that everybody always goes over their budget) but as long as they can accomplish enough to get more funding the project won't die. It's an extremely ambitious project, I think, but I'm also not a scientist and I have no idea what their work involves. For all I know this could be far easier than I imagine and maybe they can actually do it in the near future with limited funds. If they can just get a proof of concept I'd be impressed.

Also, I don't think this is really meant to be used to create a "super soldier" by modifying humans but rather to make creatures that will help soldiers in some way (not sure if that's what you meant). Either way, it'll definitely have applications in the civilian world as well, like most military technology. And about whether or not the project is real, I believe it. Most people probably didn't think we'd have the ability to make that active camouflage stuff like you see in the Predator movies but they're working on that and I think they actually have a prototype that at least somewhat works. It's obviously not ready for use but the fact that they're even close to making that is pretty awesome and makes you wonder what else they're working on that they won't tell us about yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gatyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 1:17am
Originally posted by stratoaxe stratoaxe wrote:

Without any scientific backing of my own, I'd be willing to say this will go nowhere.

Why? If it's even real, 6 million dollars isn't much to fund a super soldier project.

The 6 Million Dollar man would like to have a word with you.

And I guarantee that the government will be willing to throw inordinate amounts of money at this if they think it will yield a completely faithful, immortal organism to use against enemies.

Think about it; if DARPA can create an organism that, say, specifically targets synapses somehow, which shuts down the brains of all organisms in the affected area, the military could then unleash that on opposing military bases and naval vessels. After the damage was done, it could be shut down, and our military could acquire all of the enemy's hardware with no damage whatsoever, and at only the cost to produce and deliver the organisms.

Regarding the article, I'd like to know why the NYU biologist says evolution isn't random, but is targeted and works like an algorithm.

And I don't trust humans to do this sort of thing correctly. I can only imagine there will be unintended consequences that will be WAAAAAAY worse than the initial benefit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 11:00am
This thread had a greater potential for entertainment when I read the title as "Darpa creating immoral creatures."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mod98commando Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 11:43am
Originally posted by Gatyr Gatyr wrote:


Regarding the article, I'd like to know why the NYU biologist says evolution isn't random, but is targeted and works like an algorithm.


I was a little confused by that as well. I guess they meant that evolution isn't random in the sense that it "selects" creatures who are most suited to survive in their environment. It's not like creatures 1-6 survive while others die just because that's how the dice rolled. They had some sort of genetic mutation or greater intelligence which allowed them to survive while the others were incapable and died as a consequence. However, the mutation or gift of intelligence that enabled them to be more suitable to their environment was arguably random (or at least caused by such a long string of events that we can't trace it) so I don't know.

Originally posted by Gatyr Gatyr wrote:


And I don't trust humans to do this sort of thing correctly. I can only imagine there will be unintended consequences that will be WAAAAAAY worse than the initial benefit.


Agreed. I imagine them making something devastatingly powerful and then either their "kill switch" doesn't work or the enemy finds a way to hijack these creatures and turn them on us. However, any that are designed for something that doesn't involve killing are probably harmless. It'd be pretty cool to see them create organisms with such hard bodies that they could link together and act as armor that is not only very strong but flexible and maybe even light. Would suck to have your body armor literally die on you though so they better get that immortality thing down too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 3:23pm
Eh, won't happen on any impressive scale anytime soon. If it does happen it'll be like "zomg we got this bacteria to live forever, until we kill it"

Awesome...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gator Taco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 7:56pm


first thing that came to mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ctchofday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 10:51pm


first thing that came to mind
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 10:53pm
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