Pentagon scientists working in a secret unit set up at the height of the Cold War have created a microchip inserted under the skin that detects COVID-19 infection, and a revolutionary filter that removes the virus from the blood. can be removed when attached to a dialysis machine.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) team has been working to prevent and end pandemics for years.
They assess the problems and come up with ingenious solutions that sometimes look more like a science fiction novel than a working laboratory.
One of their recent inventions, they said 60 minutes Sunday night was a microchip that detects COVID infection in an individual before it can become an outbreak.
The microchip will no doubt cause some concern for some government agency implanting a microchip into a citizen.
Officials speaking with the 60 Minutes team said the Pentagon does not want to track every movement.
A more detailed explanation was not given.
Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an Army physician in infectious diseases who led DARPA’s response to the pandemic, showed the 60 Minutes team a tissue-like gel designed to continuously test your blood.
The green gel, seen in a lab, contains a microchip that detects when the body is infected
The idea of a microchip came after the USS Theodore Roosevelt (pictured) saw 1,271 infections
“You put it under your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions taking place in the body, and that signal means that you will have symptoms tomorrow,” he explained.
He said they were inspired by the fight to stop the virus from spreading aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, where 1,271 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.
“It’s like a check engine light,” Hepburn said.
Sailors would get the signal, then draw blood themselves and test themselves on the spot.
“We’ll have that information in three to five minutes.
‘As you cut that time, while you diagnose and treat, you stop the infection in its tracks.’
Troops are likely to be very skeptical of the new invention.
In February, The New York Times reported that a third of the troops refused to take the vaccine, over concerns that the vaccine contains a microchip designed to control recipients, that it will permanently disable the body’s immune system, or that it is some form of government control .
DARPA headquarters is shown in Arlington, Virginia
Hepburn shows off a filter attached to a dialysis machine and removes the virus from the blood
Another invention from Hepburn’s team is a filter that is placed on a dialysis machine and removes the virus from the blood.
The experimental four-day treatment was given to “Patient 16”, a military spouse, who was in the ICU with organ failure and septic shock.
“If you let it through, the virus is taken out and the blood is put back in,” Hepburn said.
Within a few days, patient 16 made a full recovery.
The filter has been approved by the FDA for emergency use, and it has been used to treat nearly 300 critically ill patients.
Another Pentagon agency, the Joint Pathology Institute, is studying tissue samples from soldiers and sailors infected with pathogens around the world.
Scientists have tissue samples from people infected with the Spanish flu
The Spanish flu killed 50 million people between 1918-2020
They have tissue in their labs from patients infected with the Spanish flu 100 years ago, and in 2005 a team from Mount Sinai Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) managed to recreate the virus.
They also found survivors and made antibodies to the deadly virus.
A member of the team, Dr. James Crowe, has found a way to find antibodies in a vial of blood in record time – reducing the time frame from the usual six to 24 months to 78 days.
The technology he developed was used to make antibodies against COVID-19.
They are currently working on ways to speed up the actual growth of antibodies – a process that currently takes three weeks for 7,500 doses.
“We would start from a blood sample from a survivor and be done with all this and give you an injection of the cure in 60 days,” he said.
Another scientist, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, is currently trying to develop a vaccine against all coronaviruses.
“This is not science fiction, this is scientific fact,” he told the show.
“We have the tools, we have the technology to do all of this now.”
He said the goal was to be able to vaccinate people against deadly viruses that have not even been identified.
“We will be protected from killer viruses that we have not seen or even thought of,” he said.