Proof that DARPA works on scary shit, but can’t keep secrets.

So, the first and most important rule of any super-secret science team working to create Godawful aberrations of nature for who-knows-what purpose is pretty self-evident: shut the fuck up and say nothing. So it’s both amusing and disheartening to hear that the fount of all super-secret military industrial complex conspiracy theories – DARPA – announced right in it’s annual budget – it’s annual fucking budget, I shit you not – that it is working on synthetic organisms that will live for ever and, should they turn out to be harmful, contain a genetic kill-switch. WTF? More info after the jump.

Wired magazine’s DARPAwatch section revealed this scary fact. Seems that the Pentagon is fed up with the ” randomness of natural evolutionary advancement” and has directed DARPA to work on creating fully synthetic organisms that will be immortal, but that will, should the highly predictable shit-hitting-the-fan outcome that we can all see coming a fucking mile away like a train with a massive headlight all the way down at the other end of the tunnel come to pass, include a biological kill-switch – allowing the organisms to be stopped dead in their tracks.

Of course, Darpa’s got to prevent the super-species from being swayed to do enemy work — so they’ll encode loyalty right into DNA, by developing genetically programmed locks to create “tamper proof” cells. Plus, the synthetic organism will be traceable, using some kind of DNA manipulation, “similar to a serial number on a handgun.” And if that doesn’t work, don’t worry. In case Darpa’s plan somehow goes horribly awry, they’re also tossing in a last-resort, genetically-coded kill switch: “Develop strategies to create a synthetic organism “self-destruct” option to be implemented upon nefarious removal of organism”.

As part of its budget for the next year, Darpa is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement.” The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living, breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to “produce the intended biological effect.” Darpa wants the organisms to be fortified with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters can “ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”

Now, forgive us here for sounding a little thick, but it seems to me that there can’t be that many practical, non-weaponizeable, non-evil-plan-formed-in-a-secret-volcano-base things you can do with a synthetic organism. After all, they are not talking about building something that can do the shopping, mow your lawn, or look after grandma whilst you are out to make sure she doesn’t drop another hip or something. And quite what they mean by the “intended biological effect” we are not sure. But, after doing a lot of SCIENCE! in our brains, we are pretty sure that something that is living and breathing isn’t going to be a cure for penile warts or halitosis.

And it stands to reason that if the genetic loyalty built into this organism is intended to avoid  nefarious enemy subjugation of the organism itself, then we are talking about something here that you would be designing to use against such an enemy.

So, one one hand, we have to applaud the openness of DARPA for telling everyone exactly what mysterious secret government projects they are working on. If only the guys with capture UFO tech in Area 51 could be so forthcoming, there would be a whole lot less tin-foil hat loonies about.

On the other hand…isn’t it about time they stopped screwing around with microbes and finally got on with making laser-toting dinosaurs and nuclear dolphins and all that shit? Man, they are taking, like, for ever. You may have the greatest minds in there, DARPA, but the internets have been ahead of you for years. Just hire 300 web-literate man-children and you will have weapons that would give any military  leader a pants-tent like a flagpole. Then again, thinking about it, whilst this would give rise to armored space-jellyfish and power-armor wearing kangaroos, a weaponized Pedobear would be somewhat less awesome. Just stay away from the chans, is all we’re saying.  

Read the full article here.

12 Comments

  1. Analog Kid
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First time here at Dogsounds. Love the writing style. Great article. Keep up the good work.

    • Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I call my style “really tired, hungry, not had enough coffee and getting the back-to-school-blues because I’m back to work tomorrow” :)

  2. icallshogun
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t remember a time when this was a good idea, ever. “Let’s make something immortal, but we’ll put a kill switch in! That’ll never fail, right guys?”

    • Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There are lots of things that make sense when you are sitting in the big high-backed chair in the inner sanctum of you volcano lair. If these guys had such an inner sanctum then the plan would be widely acceptable. Sadly, I suspect they don’t even expect their workers to wear orange jumpsuits and hardhats and carry MP40 machine guns. They really need to do their research.

      • icallshogun
        Posted February 11, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink | Reply

        I wrote that post while sitting in the big boy chair in my sub-aquatic lair in the tropics, and I assure you, it seemed like a bad idea then. I do my best villainy in that chair, too. Lasersharks? Still frickin’ sweet, though they are a little indiscriminate. They love to lase things. At least, that’s how I perceive their near constant use of the lasers.

        But I’d still never make them immortal.

  3. Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    DARPA Rocks!

    • Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I would bet good money that they are working on something involving dinosaurs. And robots. Dinosaurs and robots.

      And lasers. Dinosaurs, robots and lasers.

      And possibly dinosaurs made of robots. Oh. Wait, would that be more cool that robots made of dinosaurs? I just can’t decide.

      • Derpper
        Posted May 16, 2011 at 1:41 am | Permalink | Reply

        LoL That is all (0o)

  4. Will
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lmfao thIs article is fuckin funny as hell !!! I heard about this about 2 yrs ago ! Some weird shit and who the fuck is DARPA to try and stop NATURE from doing what it’s always done from the beginning of time!!!! Lol the egghead nerve!!!!

  5. Posted February 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like this blog / website dude

    but look guys, quick reality check. Bear with me on the first off topic bit.

    During the Cuban missile crisis one plan given to Kennedy by the DOD was to land a covert US force on Cuba and launch a nuclear weapon on America killing its own citizens but allowing the US to then nuke Russia out of existence (in retaliation). Kennedy was appalled by all accounts and refused to do it despite going to Defcon 3 or 4. We know what happened to him… almost certainly elements of the US secret service, NSA, NWO or whatever had a hand in his death even if they tried to make it look like a loony or the Mafia. He was a loose cannon you see. Not in the game.

    911 anyone? – excuse to go blitz Irac/Iran, control oil or maybe to stand up for the West / Israel in the Middle East?

    Of course this new technology will be considered for a weapon…. most universities are funded at least in part by large commercial organisations, the government and the military. Science and engineering are bought and paid for and it isn’t to improve your grades – its about control, money and having a bigger gun than the next guy. Tesler promoted the concept of free energy at the turn of the century – invented AC current, radio, and WiFi. He was looking at fuel-less aircraft (saucer shaped) and an EMP weapon (to promote peace) in the 40’s – the latter would render an opponents electrical infrastructure harmless without killing anyone. After he died the FBI/CIA confiscated all his work as a matter of national security. WTF?

    They probably got this latest idea (synthetic organisms) from Bladerunner – Philip K. Dick, or maybe Terminator. Either way it sure beats sending in Johnny Jarhead who might just get emotional or God forbid, think for himself. Cheaper too.

    Let me leave you with one more peace of reality. I was in the service for a while as a youngster… we had a special programme in case of nuclear attack. Basically all local officials including the Police would immediately be tooled up and a curfew put into place with a shoot to kill order on ANY important resource – food, fuel, water etc.

    Basically, if it hits the fan the world’s citizens are on their own….. and the people in control will shoot your mother, sister and kids if they have to – dont doubt it. The plan is written.

    And dont get me started on the plan they came up with in the 50’s to control the global population/expansion numbers. Aids anyone? A lot of this is a matter of public record…. you just have to join the dots. Its not all conspiracy. In the CIA’s own manual it says the best lie is the one based on a truth.

    I just hope the aliens land soon and take us the hell over as Arthur C Clarke predicted. Lets hope they are more enlightened than humans.

    I will return –

    Elwood.

  6. Clifford
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was very informative.

One Trackback

  1. […] “ randomness of natural evolutionary advancement” and has directed DARPA to work on creating fully synthetic organisms that will be immortal, but that will, should the highly predictable shit-hitting-the-fan outcome […]

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