- Scientists at the Pentagon’s secretive unit are researching viruses and developing pandemic cures
- They work at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other Pentagon laboratories
- DARPA’s teams saw COVID-19 infected 1,271 onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt as the virus spread unchecked
- In response they have developed a microchip to detect asymptomatic COVID in a bid to prevent an outbreak
- The chip is inserted below skin and triggers a sensor if COVID infects the body
- DARPA have also created a filter which can remove COVID virus from the blood when attached to dialysis
- They are working on a vaccine that would work against all coronaviruses, even ones not yet identified
- The team also successfully manufactured antibodies against Spanish Flu
Pentagon scientists working inside a secretive unit set up at the height of the Cold War have created a microchip to be inserted under the skin, which will detect COVID-19 infection, and a revolutionary filter that can remove the virus from the blood when attached to a dialysis machine.
The team at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working for years on preventing and ending pandemics.
They assess the issues and come up with ingenious solutions, which at times appear more from a science fiction novel than a working laboratory.
One of their recent inventions, they told 60 Minutes on Sunday night, was a microchip which detects COVID infection in an individual before it can become an outbreak.
The microchip is sure to spark worries among some about a government agency implanting a microchip in a citizen.
Officials who spoke to the 60 Minutes team said the Pentagon isn’t looking to track your every move.
A more detailed explanation was not given.
Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, an army infectious disease physician leading DARPA’s response to the pandemic, showed the 60 Minutes team a tissue-like gel, engineered to continuously test your blood.
‘You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow,’ he explained.
He said they were inspired by the struggle to stem the virus’ spread onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, where 1,271 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.