When it comes to being severely injured on the battlefield, minutes are decisive. In this regard, the Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is embarking on a program to study how molecular biology can slow down the rate of processes within biosystems. This will expand the possibilities for successful recovery of the wounded after severe injuries.
The program was named "Biostasis". The fact is that similar processes occur in nature - for example, in tiger and forest frogs. These animals are capable of falling into a state of cryptobiosis - tissue dehydration under prolonged unfavorable conditions. At the same time, the metabolism in their bodies is close to zero, which allows them to survive.
So, for example, tree frogs caught by frost can literally "freeze" for several days, and after warming they return to their normal state.
Another example is tardigrades (tardigrada), tiny invertebrates up to 1.5 mm in size with the unique ability to survive in the harshest conditions. They can withstand temperatures from –272 to +150 ° C. They are not afraid of vacuum, gigantic water pressure at a depth of more than 4000 meters, as well as being without food and water for a long time. In one study, scientists at Harvard University concluded that it is possible that tardigrades will live to see the "death" of the sun.
These animals have different survival mechanisms, so DARPA researchers are likely to focus on the body's overall ability to selectively “turn on the brakes” on specific molecular processes at the protein level. At the same time, all processes in the body must "slow down" harmoniously, avoiding disturbances when returning to normal "speed".
Biostasis will first touch upon simple biochemical processes associated, for example, with the formation of antibodies. Further research will move on to cells and then to the systems of the whole organism.