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Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the fattening-up-on-brains dept.

Medicine 193

ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."

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193 comments

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Don't do it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359058)

Don't they watch movies? Haven't we learned anything?

Re:Don't do it (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359126)

Yeah, movies is where the real science is at.

Re:Don't do it (1)

samsonian (1669420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359314)

It isn't?? Man, I was hoping to pass the exam tomorrow by watching back to the future.

Re:Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359334)

Jigga what?

Re:Don't do it (3, Informative)

larpon (974081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359792)

He just left4bacon

Re:Don't do it (1)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360294)

It will prepare me for yesterday's exam tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out last week.

Re:Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360412)

Don't go, you already told me it turned out to be a waste of time.

I disagree (2, Funny)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359226)

My buddies and I have always postured what we would do if and when a zombie apocalypse broke out. All being military or former military, with the ability to bear arms and the survival skills (not to mention the remote getaway) already at our disposal, we all voted the human race as generally despicable and that it was about time there was some event to clean the slate. It's time to kick zombie ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all outa gum.

Re:I disagree (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359452)

I really wish you had said "the ability to bare arms". It is far more hilarious.

Re:I disagree (4, Funny)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359606)

You fool!!! The last thing we need during the Zombie Apocalypse is armed bears!

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359860)

Hairy gay zombies?

Re:I disagree (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360534)

No, no, no. You misunderstand. Our founding fathers wished for us to have the arms of bears (bear-arms)!

Just ask your nearest neighborhood grizzly, I'm sure he'll be willing to lend you his.

Re:I disagree (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359622)

Ahhh, but Gum is the best weapon for killing zombie squirrels, double bubble looks like thinking meat and it builds up in their zombie tummies and blocks them up, squirrels and some other rodents can't throw up and so they will die a horrible zombie squirrel death.

Re:I disagree (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359702)

They can't poop either?

Cause otherwise they would just crap it out.

Re:I disagree (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359958)

Bummer the Zombiacolypse is slated to occur when you and your buddies are in Vegas for that bachelor party...

Re:I disagree (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360640)

A bunch of mindless drones desperate for a single body part and mindlessly chasing anything that has it?

Oh my god, the zombie apocalypse has already happened in Vegas!

Re:Don't do it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359584)

What if it works, with 90% success rate?

Here lies the danger.

When they are doing it with real humans, and can revive 90% of the casualties, everyone would be rejoicing with echoes of "Hallelujah !!"

But what about the 10% failure?

What if, among the 10% failure there are those that are NOT dead, but unable to be revived?

Just buried them?

Re:Don't do it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359692)

What if, for 20% of the 65% of the 90% you speak of it works, but we fail to "revive them", and for 110% of the 36.2% of the 10% instead we "impale them ass-first onto a pine tree".

And then, this tree is cut down by 2% of 63% of the pop'n of South Dakota and used as a Christmas Tree? WHAT THEN!?!?

OH GOD, WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE ASS-IMPALED ZOMBIES FALLING ON SOUTH DAKOTA'S NATIVITY SCENES?!?!?

Re:Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360156)

I laughed quite nicely, but I'm not giving you any of my mod points, because karma only has an effect on users who don't hide their names.

Re:Don't do it (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360094)

Go without reviving long enough and you'll be dead for good, even with this stuff.

And a single bullet in the right spot will convert "low metabolic function" into "fully dead", 100%, guaranteed.

Re:Don't do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360434)

The key is to not let them overheat. Keep them cool and ice them down every so often, or they will burn up.....oh....wait....

Brain damage? (4, Informative)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359140)

One of the biggies in this war is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - surviving explosions, surviving shots to the helmet - I wonder if we'll be swapping out a lot of dead soldiers for ones suffering extreme brain injury.

A friend of mine just came back from Germany. He lost both of his legs and has TBI caused mood swings like you wouldn't believe, and pretty much looks like it will wreck his family. Staving off death is one thing (and good); making life after injury worth living is another.

Re:Brain damage? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359164)

You should finish the job?

Re:Brain damage? (5, Funny)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359248)

One of the biggies in this war is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - surviving explosions, surviving shots to the helmet - I wonder if we'll be swapping out a lot of dead soldiers for ones suffering extreme brain injury.

A friend of mine just came back from Germany. He lost both of his legs and has TBI caused mood swings like you wouldn't believe, and pretty much looks like it will wreck his family. Staving off death is one thing (and good); making life after injury worth living is another.

You are absolutely right. Many of the soldiers who take this shot will have suffered TBI and will require brains. Braaaaiiiiiins.

Re:Brain damage... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359592)

Wow, that war over in Germany is still going on? I thought it was over like 50 years ago...

Re:Brain damage... (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360064)

They have socialized medicine over there; the wait time is a bitch!

(For government health care, but I couldn't pass up the joke even so)

Re:Brain damage? (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359682)

Staving off death is one thing (and good); making life after injury worth living is another.

Worth repeating.

Re:Brain damage? (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359690)

One of the biggies in this war is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - surviving explosions, surviving shots to the helmet - I wonder if we'll be swapping out a lot of dead soldiers for ones suffering extreme brain injury.

Cooling the brain has been known for years to work miracles on minimizing head trauma and taming neurological conditions.
There's no reason for soldiers who've received head injuries to not wear a cooling helmet for a few days after the trauma.

Someone even took the idea and integrated chemical icepacks into motorcycle helmets [thermahelm.com] so that the brain immediately starts getting cooled upon impact.

Re:Brain damage? (4, Interesting)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359828)

Well, its not as clear cut as that. Current research (a google search away!) tells us that while its probable that inducing hypothermia in the the brain reduces neurological damage, we currently get somewhat contradicting studies suggesting otherwise. In the best case, it may turn out that cooling the brain is an extremely delicate task that must be carefully controlled. Given the level of precision apparently needed, it seems unlikely that simply plopping on a cooled helmet is the best way to go about reducing brain trauma.

In any case, reducing circulation increases the chance of infection (important if there was actual head trauma in addition to brain trauma), and appears to raise the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.

Doesn't mean its useless though. Just that like so many other medical ideas, its complicated. And just cause some company makes a product based on it, doesn't mean it works just like they say it does.

Re:Brain damage? (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359696)

Agreed.

The decrease in VA hospital funding is just disgraceful.

I may not agree with the war, but I will say that all persons subjected to the greatest physical and emotional harm in the service of the United States deserve the best available treatment at the expense of the federal government.

Re:Brain damage? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360334)

I agree in spirit, but I just have to point out:

Where did you think the federal government gets the money to pay for this?

My personal opinion is that we ought to stretch our military money a bit more... maybe one less new aircraft carrier, or a dozen fewer missiles... and use that money for better things. The federal government only has the money we (as taxpayers) give it, and it's very limited.

Re:Brain damage? (0, Troll)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360420)

Better yet, not fighting useless wars and not maintaining a global empire of military bases. If you really want to help the soldiers, bring them home. They are not serving the United States, they are serving a very questionable agenda that goes against the best interest of the average US citizen.

Re:Brain damage? (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359788)

Pfff..hahahahahahaa.... Since when are soldiers known for their *brains*? I mean they are soldiers *specifically* because they have no own opinions in the first place.

A soldier is basically a machine that’s controlled.

Brains in soldiers... lol. Next you tell me about Fox News watchers who know propositional calculus. ^^

Re:Brain damage? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360080)

well I love blowing things up and I love methamphetamine
since I have a brain I join the army
where else can I legally get strung up on meth and blow thing up

Re:Brain damage? (0, Troll)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360234)

Brains in soldiers... lol. Next you tell me about Fox News watchers who know propositional calculus. ^^

There are plenty of smart folks in the military - based on odds, there are probably folks in the Air Force with a better grasp of mathematics than yourself. What they lack is the ability to apply that knowledge to the concept that they're supporting destructive and unconstitutional imperial military adventures.

Sort of like MSNBC viewers who haven't figured out that Keynesian economics is a giant Ponzi scheme meant to grant undue power to central banks, err, I mean governments.

And like any distribution, there are no doubt grunts who earn that name. Age also plays a large role.

Re:Brain damage? (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360474)

Blaming the soldiers for destructive and unconstitutional imperial military adventures is pretty misplaced. Quite a few people are in the military because they are poor and no other real reason, they didn't sign up specifically to be misused.

Oxidative damage. (3, Informative)

spineboy (22918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359160)

Most of these types of experiments have previously been in cryo-preservation - some scientist, in Boston I believe, has successfully frozen beagles, and brought them back to life.

Anyway, In trauma surgery, the "Golden Hour" refers to the window of time, where massively injured patients can be saved from horrible injuries. After that, too much damage occurs, and the chance is severely diminished.

So using H2S(hydrogen sulphide) should help stop oxidative reactions, extending the "Golden Hour", allowing the patient to be stabilized, and brought to a higher level of care, where they can be fixed up.

Small side effect - H2S is basically the stench in Marsh gas, so these soldiers are going to smell like stink ass zombies for a while I think.

Re:Oxidative damage. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359368)

Their blood will stink like swamp gas for a while.

Re:Oxidative damage. (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359748)

+1 informative: We'll be able to smell the zombie hordes coming. That's a useful observation, thank you. (I'm making a note for our organisations's zombie apocolypse business continuity plan)

Re:Oxidative damage. (2, Informative)

IdahoEv (195056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359944)

some scientist, in Boston I believe, has successfully frozen beagles, and brought them back to life.

[Citation needed]. Sorry, that's just too interesting a claim to go uncommented.

I believe that dogs have been cooled to near-freezing temperatures, cardiovascular function temporarily halted, and revived after a few hours. But their tissues remained unfrozen and their blood remained liquid the entire time.

Nobody, AFAIK, has successfully frozen and revived a mammal.

Re:Oxidative damage. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360110)

The Nazis did this back in WWII - they removed the blood from German shepherds, replaced with a saline solution, froze the dogs, then thawed, replaced blood, and revived them.

It became the basis for most cryogenics today.

As for the dog, it was 1987, between ACS and Trans Time - the beagle had a full body washout and cool-down. In the early 90s a similar experiment was done with a baboon - successfully. I think BioTime in Berkeley did that, my memory's fuzzy.

Re:Oxidative damage. (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359962)

Extending the golden hour to ten seem pretty good for soldiers, but I wonder if this would help the cryo-preservation of corpses to be brought back to life later, like in woody aliens sleeper.

---

Cryonics Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Oxidative damage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360070)

I can see how this will end - they will use it to susspend great armies in hibernation waiting for the time when they are needed. But someething will go wrong and they will wake on their own, attack us and eat our brains! Oh the humanity!

Re:Oxidative damage. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360120)

I'm hoping for some time to see such things enter mainstream.

It's a horrible thing to think that I wouldn't stand a chance after many serious injuries not because of any fundamental limitations, but currently limited tech and procedures.

And it's only from my selfish point of view, I can't imagine what ambulance & ER medics are going through, seeing cases which are inescapably fatal now...but we're quite certain they don't have to be.

Damage Mechanism (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359210)

One of the main mechanisms for brain damage after injury to the brain is due to the neurons releasing their packets of neurotransmitters upon their death. So you have a good neuron right next to a big blob of toxic neurotransmitters. Then that neuron dies, too. It's a chemical cascade of dying neurons. Slowing down metabolism slows down this damage, as oxidation plays a large part. Ever see those people that drown in icy water, only to be revived after hours without oxygen, somewhat intact? Same thing.

Re:Damage Mechanism (5, Funny)

Zerimar (1124785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359894)

Ever see those people that drown in icy water, only to be revived after hours without oxygen, somewhat intact?

No sir, I have never watched a person drown in icy water and then revived hours later. Is this a common thing to see?

Re:Damage Mechanism (1)

OrigamiMarie (1501451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360278)

I know a surgeon who lives in cold climates who says "You're not dead until you're warm and dead". Body processes really do slow down, including the destructive ones, when the body is cold. There have been enough instances of people waking up / being revived while they warm up after falling through ice that this saying exists in the medical community.

Re:Damage Mechanism (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360546)

Exactly - hypothermia in under-ice immersions, and surgical hypothermia, are well studied now and effective.

You can't possibly do that on the battlefield... but, with these chemical equivalents, turning off the oxygen for the decay processes rather than the temperature needed for them to occur, it's a possibly field expedient method of achieving the same goals.

Not magic - may not work if the blood's lost too fast or heart's not beating by the time you get to them - but CPR may be good enough circulation, and possibly IV bags with the chemical cocktail and saline solution would be enough to perfuse the patient even if most of the blood is gone (if you're putting them out, then no oxygen in the saline is not even vaguely a problem... it's actually helpful).

It may not end up working on human sized animals. That's what the trials are for. But if it does, it could save not just soldiers but many many many people who die in trauma or in surgical incidents.

Have to test in human sized animals, if that works then go for humans as with any other medical procedure. No way of knowing ahead of time. Scale effects may screw people sized patients. But we won't know until we try.

Re:Damage Mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360598)

Well, if you're an serial almost-murderer you can see several people doing this, as the parent suggested, in a series..

OMG (3, Funny)

thelonious (233200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359220)

They are going to end up with bacon that doesn't die! And that would be a sin against humanity!

End up with bacon that doesn't die! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359498)

That sounds like heaven on earth if you ask me.

In fact, I think this could be the basis for a new religion with a communion that doesn't let you down in the flavor department.

Re:OMG (2, Funny)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359602)

I, for one, welcome our delicious, self-propelling into mouths, bacon overlords.

Re:OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360418)

It's OK if you wash it between sittings. I mean eatings.

Use it on the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359236)

Put it in some sort of new-millennium dart gun. Then you can safety advance on the enemy and humanely cut their throats while they sleep.

Re:Use it on the enemy (1)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359572)

Bravo, sir. Never has the 'Anonymous Coward' moniker been more deserved...

Re:Use it on the enemy (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360130)

That is effectively what the Israleites did. Men of this village wanted to marry the Jewish women. The Jewish men, said OK, but to that you must be circumcised. The village men lined up and had it done, retired to their beds to sleep it off, and were killed by the Jewish men. I forget the name of the story, but it's in the Old Testament.

Re:Use it on the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360698)

It sounds like you are thinking of Genesis chap 34 - the event was in retribution for the violation of Diana, something that Jacob then made clear was pretty stupid of Simon and Levi to have done (see verse 30)

What's the relevance of that event to this thread????

Opposite of a Zombie (5, Insightful)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359242)

The terminology seems odd here. Isn't suspended animation pretty much the opposite of being a zombie? I mean zombies are the animated dead. Suspended animation makes you the unanimated living.

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (4, Funny)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359324)

Stop bursting my bubble of zombie Apocalypse hope!

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359714)

Stop bursting my hope for a bubble apocalypse blown by zombies!

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359398)

The terminology seems odd here. Isn't suspended animation pretty much the opposite of being a zombie? I mean zombies are the animated dead. Suspended animation makes you the unanimated living.

Well see soon but I say if they come out of it squealing for pig's brains they're zombies.

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359474)

Well, it depends if it works as intended.

What if, upon revival, the survivors weren't "all there"? If the process works incompletely then we'd have the zombies we're looking for.

So the process is:

1. Put injured people in suspended animation
2. Extract soul (or whatever makes us non-zombies)
3. Reanimate the meatbags
4. ???
5. Profit!

Sorry to re-use an old meme, but it applies. Some ideas for step 4:

-Sell souls to Satan
-put meatbags to work in factories where manual dexterity is not needed
-use army of meatbags to take over small island resort nations
-use meatbags as shock troops
-train meatbags to vote for the political party of your choice (more effective than mass marketing campaigns)

Re: meatbags in factories (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359578)

-put meatbags to work in factories where manual dexterity is not needed

Didn't you ever play Alpha Centauri? They call those Genejack Factories.

Re: meatbags in factories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359678)

Yes, and let the three-fingered warforged do all the concert piano playing!

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (3, Funny)

Labcoat Samurai (1517479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359612)

Use body heat from meatbags as a power source in case we accidentally block out the sun with pollution?

Wait, no, that's stupid. My mistake

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360322)

Use body heat from meatbags as a power source in case we accidentally block out the sun with pollution?

Wait, no, that's stupid. My mistake

Only Warner Bros executives would think that was a good idea. Networking their brains into a massively parallel processor, however...

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359604)

You've forgotten there are two parts to the process. The first part is the opposite of making zombies, yes. But the second part... reverses the first part. Therefore, zombies.

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359616)

It's Hiberzine! (see: John Ringo)

Re:Opposite of a Zombie (1)

samsonian (1669420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359650)

Oh please! Tomayto....Tomaato.

New compound (1)

Conditioner (1405031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359462)

Excellent, and we will call this new compound "The T-Virus"

Universal Soldier... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359532)

I'm afraid they'll have to find a soldier who can kick unusually high before they can try this experiment. And, if they get out of line, the CO will have to explain to them "You are confused."

Jean-Claude van Damme: "I am confused."

Vampires next? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359546)

What's the next advancement... do we find a battlefield-tested way to drain their blood and freeze-dry them for convenient transport? First zombies, and then vampires? I'm growing more garlic and saplings, just in case.

It says in the Article that Squirrels do this.... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359594)

I always knew squirrels were vicious little demons from hell.

Squirrely Wrath!

Squirrely Wrath!

Squirrely Wrath!

Wonder if..... (1)

Stupid McStupidson (1660141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359684)

The Larramans Organ and Sus-An Membrane are far behind.

The Future Of Medicine (4, Interesting)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359704)

Really, this is how I see medicine in the future. If you suffer serious trauma, the paramedics will simply kill you at the scene and take your corpse to a hospital where the doctors will patch you up and resurrect you several hours later. If your hand gets mangled, they will simply hack it off, slather on some stem cells, and you'll over a few months, you'll just grow a new one.

Re:The Future Of Medicine (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360496)

I'm waiting for full Cylon Resurrection. They kill you and you download into a new body....

"Field Ice Bath" (1)

jesusfr3Ak (1693850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359744)

This seems like a really great idea to me - very similar to the procedure for open heart surgery [wikipedia.org] , where patients are put into a bath of icewater to slow down their metabolism. I think this could save a lot of lives, and could be extended to other non-military applications, as TFA points out.

well i knew it.... (2, Insightful)

jisou (1483699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359764)

darpa is defiantly going to be the government organization to incite the zombie apocalypse. though i shouldn't say that to loud considering the made the internet.....

Doctorow (1)

kasper_souren (1577647) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359766)

Damn. I just finished rereading Doctorow's after the siege: http://www.infinitematrix.net/stories/shorts/after-the-siege.html [infinitematrix.net] "That much she knew and that much they all knew: without the zombies, the revolution would never have come. Zombiism and the need to cure it had outweighed every other priority. Three governments had promised that they'd negotiate better prices for zombiism drugs and three governments had failed, and in the end the Cabinet had been overrun by zombies who'd torn three MPs to bits and infected seven more, and the crowd had carried the PM out of her office and put her in a barrel and driven nails through it and rolled it down the river-bank into the river, something so horrible and delicious that Valentine often thought about it, like you poke a sore tooth with your tongue."

Re:Doctorow (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360382)

What godawful prose. This is a great example of why Doctorow should stop writing.

Long Duration Space Flight (5, Interesting)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30359790)

Couldn't this be tweaked and used as a method of hibernation to stave off boredom and conserve supplies for long duration space flight?

Re:Long Duration Space Flight (1)

AmishElvis (1101979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360088)

smeg, yes it can!

are we weakening ours ability to fight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30359906)

at the risk of seeming cold and uncaring (well, ok, maybe i am), i wonder if we are weakening our ability to wage war by putting such an extreme emphasis on preventing loss of life. of course no one wants to die and we want to prevent unnecessary deaths, but in war people die. our efforts, to paraphrase patton, should be to make sure that as many as possible of the other guys die, and putting so much emphasis on saving all of our guys will impede that effort. also, as has been pointed out already, the quality of life of those saved is often so poor as to question whether they were really done any favors by saving them. there are worse things than death ....

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360392)

of course no one wants to die

What war in the last 50 years has been worth dying in? In which conflict in the last 50 years has the existence of the US been utterly threatened?

should be to make sure that as many as possible of the other guys die, and putting so much emphasis on saving all of our guys will impede that effort

Fallacious reasoning. We can do both. Do we want to pay for both? I think we should, given that the shitty little conflicts we've been in are largely driven by politicians attempting to appear as though they're hardasses at the expense of the working class.

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360674)

What war in the last 50 years has been worth dying in? In which conflict in the last 50 years has the existence of the US been utterly threatened?

What war has ever been, in and of itself, worth dying in? You're asking the wrong question. The question is whether there have been any causes worth dying for in the last 50 years, and that answer is always, always "yes" to someone. War is rarely fought for clearcut reasons such as survival. You haven't read your history very closely if you think relative security has a direct relation to peace.

Fallacious reasoning. We can do both. Do we want to pay for both? I think we should, given that the shitty little conflicts we've been in are largely driven by politicians attempting to appear as though they're hardasses at the expense of the working class.

That's only practical because we enjoy a significant technological edge over our enemies, mostly because we employ a far larger budget. I'm not sure it's safe to assume that will always be the case, though. The last part of your statement (about the politicians) is true, but that's always been the case. The vast majority of wars are not fought for objectively noble reasons; most of them are at some level affairs of vanity.

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360542)

What's wrong with your shift key and caps lock key? It's fitting that the quality of the appearance of your post matches the quality of the content. Firstly,

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

- General George S Patton

Secondly, smart people aren't some kind of raw resource that can be deployed anywhere and set to work. In this case, the smart medical people have discovered a way to help keep soldiers alive. Those people can be taken off medical research and reassigned to engineering a super-duper-kill-everyone-bomb. Now, you could argue that it's a matter of moving funds - but this brings me to my third point. We have powerful-enough weapons to kill every living creature on this planet dozens of times over. Our weakness is not in our ability to kill, our weakness is in the ability to discriminately kill - so our R&D only has limited potential to help here (there are smart-bombs and aerial drones et al, but the main thing is intelligence). Fourthly, you're ignoring things like morale. Would you be so willing to sign up/fight/etc if your governments' policy was "fuck 'em, they're dead already"? Of course not, you're just some snotty, barely-literate punk. Finally,

the quality of life of those saved is often so poor as to question whether they were really done any favors by saving them. there are worse things than death ....

That's not your call, that's their call. This is only an argument for euthanasia (in cases where they're unable to kill themselves). I'm sure I'm not alone here on slashdot when I express the sentiment that the government has no right to decide the quality of an individual's life.

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (1)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360696)

In a low-tech, low-cost, grunts-with-guns battle, sure. All you want is for more of your guys to survive, and you've won. Soldiers in these armies are easily replaceable: give a gun to a civilian, drill them 'till they lose the use of independent thought, and you've replaced the dead soldier.

But modern armies are high tech, and that means that there is a lot of training invested in the men on the ground. Lose them, you lose all the training and experience that they had. So keeping them alive and possibly able to fight again is a big plus.

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360716)

I realize this is a bit of a troll, but I'd like to point out that field hospitals, medics, and battlefield treatment have existed in some form or another at least as far back as the time of the Roman Empire over two millennia ago, and indeed the Romans in particular had extensive knowledge of herbs and medicine in general. I'm fairly sure that this isn't exactly a new concept, here, but if you'd rather people died on the field of honour rather than keeping casualties to a minimum where possible, then hey, you're welcome to go fight in Iraq or Afghanistan and deny receiving medical attention when an unseen IED or RPG ambush blows apart your convoy because "in war people die".

It's true that people die in war, but that doesn't mean the number of people who do die can't be reduced. Should development of UAV's and bomb disposal robots be halted as a waste of money and instead use bomb squads and fighter/recon sorties because people are supposed to be dying?

In World War II, Japan learned a harsh lesson with regard to the preservation of the lives of its combatants. One major example, when the bulk of their carrier force was lost at Midway, so, too, was the bulk of their most experienced fighter pilots. That fact alone is likely to have cost them the war. Their disregard for pilot safety in aircraft design, in ship design (the carrier decks were thinly-armoured, the hangars were filled with explosives and fuel, and much of the people below deck at the time of their sinking were vaporized), and in philosophy, cost them the lives of their finest pilots and warriors. Would you ask of the people serving in the armed forces to place valour and honour before life like the Japanese did? To waste their training, their skill, their experience, for glory, in the name of "strengthening the ability to fight a war"?

Saving the lives of wounded soldiers is a must. It might be true that things like getting an arm or a leg blown off limits the quality of life you can expect after you recover, but it's also true that getting shot in the shoulder or the neck might not cause permanent damage, but might also cause heavy blood loss. Something like what's being talked about in the article would help save lives in these situations by reducing the soldier's heart rate and other vitals enough to prolong his or her ability to survive, particularly during an engagement where immediate medical attention might not be possible. So instead of having someone shot in the neck and bleeding out in a few minutes, you inject them with this and exponentially increase the window of opportunity to save their life. That's not being weak - That's being smart.

Besides, if war was only about killing as many of the enemy as possible, it'd come down to nuclear exchange as a first option. That sort of mindset is only applicable during a state of total war - When do you think was the last time that happened? And besides, even then, in order to kill more of the other guy, you need to make sure that less of your guys are killed, too.

Re:are we weakening ours ability to fight? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360748)

our efforts, to paraphrase patton, should be to make sure that as many as possible of the other guys die, and putting so much emphasis on saving all of our guys will impede that effort.

No matter how much killing one soldier can do, two can do more.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360026)

so how exactly will they "reanimate" people?

Not Zombies; River Tam (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360086)

This sounds less like reanimated corpses craving brains and more like the drugs Simon gave to River so he could sneak her into the hospital on Ariel in Firefly.

Re:Not Zombies; River Tam (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360682)

Protip: If a soldier sits up and says, "my turn," GET OUT OF THE WAY.

.. if it doesn't pan out .. (1)

BradyB (52090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360138)

From the write up:

If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam

So where does the bacon and spam come from the Pigs or the Zombie soldiers? :-/

what could possibly go wrong? (1)

blackplatypus (1242054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360212)

Wow, whats with the missing tag? if any story ever deserves the "what could possibly go wrong" tag...

What about the other alternative (1)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360298)

In the year 2010 , the military performed the last of their life support experiments on Captain William "Buck" Rogers.
In a freak mishap he was lost...only to be found 500 years later.

At this point, it begins to make more sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360372)

to just stop making WAR!!!!!!

Oh great...... (1)

scosco62 (864264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30360386)

There's really no down side to this..if we can't bring them back, then then they can work at McKinsey or Bain.....

Idiocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360562)

This sound more like the human hibernation project. Store your bests for when they are need the most.

How to be a Billionaire/Trillionaire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30360704)

Buy some bonds + blue chip stocks and sleep for the next 50 years and become a billionaire!!!!

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