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Quick Uptakes
July 25, 2001

Biotechnology to Protect Army

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JAMA. 2001;286(4):409. doi:10.1001/jama.286.4.409-JQU10006-4-1

While some people fear that biotechnology will be used for evil ends, a report by the National Academies' National Research Council argues that not all is gloom on the biotech front.

The report, Opportunities in Biotechnology for Future Army Applications, examines ways biotechnology might be used by the US Army, not for offensive weapons but for applications to improve the survivability and effectiveness of soldiers in battle.

The authors write that, in the future, a network of biosensors—some perhaps worn as wristwatch-like devices—might augment other intelligence sources, giving commanders a more complete picture of the battlefield. These sensors could signal the presence of pathogens, toxic chemicals, or other threats to troops.

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