Biotechnology on the Battlefield
March 14, 2023
Biotech research is shaping the world. It is an important part of military operations, too. It is helping to reach all new levels of combat and helping large armies defend nations against adversaries of all sizes.
While biotechnology can be destructive, it has phenomenal healing abilities too. Here are a few examples of biotechnology in military operations and how it’s keeping citizens safe.
Biotechnology and the Military
If you look at the past, from the invention of nuclear weapons, two world wars, and the Cold War, there is a revolution coming for the military. Today, military modernization is through computers, electronics, communications, and microinformation technology.
For military affairs, biotechnology is developing at a rapid pace. It is playing a critical role in medical protection, but also, it is revealing an aggressive character too.
There is a lot of value in biotech research for military operations.
Science and Technology in Land, Sea, Air, and Space
The age of information is exploring a new technology space. Modern biotech research has a focus on life structure’s microcosmos.
Here are some possibilities for biotechnology and the military.
HGP: the Human Genome Project
Exploring the new world of biotech research, HGP defines what the microcosmos of life science is. It lifts current medical practice and research, taking it to new heights, including more individualized medicine.
There are many possibilities for military advancements with HGP. It reveals the structure-function relationship, the structure-health relationship, and the genetic structure. This creates a deeper understanding of how military operations can change the battle effectiveness of a human being.
Rapidly expanding to new domains is the study of protein and gene molecules. Whoever can master these areas of science will become the leader in military biotech application and development.
This makes it critical for military operations to invest more in biotech research.
Proteomics studies at the molecular level the structure-function relationship. When you look at it from the perspective of military medicine, it bridges practical technologies and military goals.
As proteomics continues to develop, humankind can interpret and discover key proteins in any human physiological function. It can also interpret and discover multiple physiological functions that any one protein possesses.
The result is accurate models for a military attack. Military operations can have access to destructive weapons at a small scale or ultramicro-scale.
Currently, there are limited uses for transgenic technology. But there are possibilities in its idea with gene control and reconstitution for military use. Military operations can set goals with command and control with the results of such studies.
Biotech research today is playing a critical role in the diagnosis and prevention of diseases, protection from biochemical toxic agents, and treatment of war injuries. It will show its advantages.
Biotechnology and the military are strengthening the power of soldiers and resisting fatigue. It senses and monitors the battlefield. Plus, it develops military biomaterials.
Military modernization can use biotechnology to defend and attack. With further biotech research and development, it could even be a new weapon system.
Human bodies could experience direct-effect weapons that would alter their biological features. That is because, with biotechnology, life looks a lot different. After all, it looks at a molecular level.
There are many discoveries with physiological activity from previously unidentified substances. There is clarity in the biomacromolecules’ structure-function relationship.
Because of this, scientists can soon unlock ways to control, reconstruct, design, and simulate molecules in humans. Ways of changing biomolecule functions and rebuilding biological features could appear soon in a big way.
According to precise conditions and procedures, proteome and genome technologies may change living tissue accurately. Scientists could change cell functions as needed with the interaction of proteins.
When you view it from the final analysis, war looks a lot different. It would be human behavior that makes adversaries lose based on the power of resistance.
Weapons created by biotechnology would be more destructive than conventional methods of the past, such as nuclear weapons and gunpowder.
Biotechnology today makes it possible for scientists to combine two or more pathogenic genes. They could place them in a susceptible human body, creating an effect that is multiple-vulnerating.
Further, they could even delay the time it takes for a causative agent to take effect. This could happen by using a human with a longer incubation period. Another way is by a pathogenic living body which does not produce symptoms while inserting it into the human body.
There could be other factors in activating the causative agents. However, timed causation of pathopoiesis or disease is possible.
A more dangerous discovery is that it is possible to create bio-products that could target an adversary’s food and water sources and destroy it.
While these are destructive approaches, biotechnology, and the military offer positive solutions too, such as these.
Self-Healing From Spray On Technology
Another game-changer could come from how soldiers heal in battle after experiencing an injury. Biotech research that the Air Force is funding is developing a spray-on technology.
This technology could reprogram human cell function so that wounds can self-health five times faster than normal. For war wounds such as skin grafts, burns, or organ transplants, this research is groundbreaking.
How Does it Work?
The spray would use transcription factors, or proteins, to turn various genes on or off within cells. It would regulate activities like growth migration, cell division, and organization. This biotechnology can effectively reprogram human cells, including a skin cell, and have it act like a blood cell, muscle cell, or something else.
A new artificial material for military modernization is bionic adaptive camouflage material. The surface color of this material can change depending on the optical environment. A digital technology research hotspot is how to reduce the visual detectability of bionic adaptive camouflage.
In visual stealth, there are both limitations and opportunities. One possibility is photonic crystal infrared camouflage material. In the modern battlefield, this is a solution for a growing demand for digital camouflage adaptative materials.
Today’s Demand for Bionic Adaptive Camouflage
Biotechnology and the military are teaming up to help soldiers meet the challenges of needing quick mobility and different environmental background. The painting technology for today’s current camouflage performs poorly with optical backgrounds is complex. Today’s battlefield can have a tremendous change in humidity and temperature.
Therefore, there is a push to produce camouflage that does a better job of targeting the background of the battlefield. This is a vital way to resolve challenges with current bionic camouflage technology.
Bionic camouflage relies on soft photonics, which are optical components that are made partially, or fully, of stimuli-responsive, reconfigurable, fluids, or soft solids. They are ready to form a platform that military operations need for tunable optical devices. Such devices have unprecedented performance and functionality characteristics.
It can operate by simply adjusting the device’s temperature. This acts like the capability of an active multi-spectral cloaking device, comparable to what cephalopods have.
Cephalopods are members of the molluscan class. They include squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish.
While biotech research is leading to improvements in camouflage for military operations, how about becoming completely invisible instead? This appears to be high on the list of biotechnology trends for military modernization.
A Canadian company is working on “Quantum Stealth.” They say they can hide where troops, artillery, tanks, and even buildings are hiding. They have a paper-thin material that works by bending light surrounding an object to make it vanish or alter its position.
It leaves only the background visible.
The idea of “stealth” is nothing new. It is as old as warfare is.
In fact, it is not just the military that uses stealth. Predators in the animal kingdom rely on stealth to attack their prey. Even magicians use optical illusions in their performances.
Stealth Mode Is a Game-Changer
Today, most conflicts are asymmetric in their nature. You may hear them referred to as unconventional wars or guerilla warfare. Asymmetric warfare is more suitable for cloaking or stealth technology.
For example, take the worldwide counterterror model. Depending on the players that are a part of it, the power shift could tip either way.
This can help counterterrorism campaigns from the side of wealthier nations, like the United States and Russia. The military can intervene with an advantage over the non-state adversary.
If you take the jungles of Vietnam or the deserts of Afghanistan, a smaller insurgent group familiar with the terrain has a tactical advantage over a large army. Insurgents may lack the training or resources of a large army, but they have a better stealth advantage on the battlefield.
Now insert invisibility technology. This completely shifts the advantage toward the rich military operations in terms of maneuverability. Local guerillas would still rely on their low-tech knowledge of the terrain, while a large, rich military would rely on invisibility fabric.
Military Interventions Would Be Easier
Larger powers would have a tactical advantage, which could lead to more wars. Take, for example, the ramp-up by President Obama for military involvement in the countries of Yemen and Pakistan. Lethal drones could target adversaries in these countries, and with less risk to the life of an American soldier.
You could make another argument that stealth technology could lead to more peace. This is because smaller nations would not want to antagonize a power with a large military.
If they cannot produce the same stealth technology, their old-fashioned tactics are obsolete. With no means of attacking, they must remain peaceful.
Examples of Biotechnology
Biotechnology and the military have exciting possibilities. However, the goal is to always protect the nation’s citizens and help them prosper. When an adversary threatens, military operations must be ready.
The examples of biotechnology in this article include how scientists and innovation are paving the way toward a safer future. The experts at NSTXL are here to help, reigniting America’s competitive edge and getting rid of outdated processes that make it challenging for the U.S. to deliver critical technologies.