The Pentagon’s advanced research division has set aside $6 million from its next budget for research on the creation of “synthetic organisms” whose DNA can be altered to make them live forever, or die on command, and even keep a genetic record of what they have been doing.
In its 2011 budget (PDF, 522 pages), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency lays out its intention to create “BioDesign,” a project to create artificial life, presumably with military purposes in mind.
“BioDesign eliminates the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement primarily by advanced genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies to produce the intended biological effect,” the DARPA document states.
The agency says it wants to develop “a robust understanding of the collective mechanisms that contribute to cell death” so as to “enable a new generation of regenerative cells that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”
But, if those organisms should malfunction or run the course of their usefulness, the agency also wants to have the ability to have them die on command, what it calls a “self-destruct option.”
The agency also wants to create “tamper-proof” genetic codes, so that enemy forces can’t reprogram the life forms to switch sides.
And finally, DARPA also wants these organisms’ genetic sequences to “record” what they have been doing, presumably for surveillance purposes, “similar to a traceable serial number on a handgun.”
Reporting at Wired.com, Katie Drummond says the Pentagon is “up against some vexing, fundamental laws of nature.”
First, they might want to rethink the idea of evolution as a random series of events, says NYU biology professor David Fitch. “Evolution by selection is nota random process at all, and is actually a hugely efficient design algorithm used extensively in computation and engineering,” he e-mails Danger Room.
Even if Darpa manages to overcome the inherent intelligence of evolutionary processes, overcoming inevitable death can be tricky. Just ask all the other research teams who’ve made stabs at it, trying everything from cell starvation to hormone treatments.
“And then there’s all of the ethical dilemmas involved in literally playing God,” comments John Funk at The Escapist. “But that’s only if the science actually works.”
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.
Cincinnati sheriff deputies replace American flag at the Justice Center with ‘thin-blue-line’ flag
Cincinnati police were filmed replacing the American flag that hangs over the Justice Center in Ohio's third-largest city. They then replaced it with the thin-blue-line flag, that was created to advocate for law-enforcement during Black Lives Matter Protests.
During the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, right-wing and white supremacist activists carried the thin-blue-line flag along with the Confederate flag to speak out against Black Lives Matter.
While the flag may have been created in support of law enforcement, it has been adopted by white supremacists and taken on a darker meaning.
WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops
Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.
Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.
"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.