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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

DARPA To Scientists: Find A Better Way To Study Chemical Weapons


The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency has set a new challenge for scientists: Invent a method that can figure out, on a molecular level, how new chemical and biological weapons work—and that can do so within 30 days of a victim being exposed. DARPA is calling the five-year program Rapid Threat Assessment.

A process that could determine in 30 days the way a new biological or chemical attack interferes with normal cell function would be a huge improvement over current science. It took researchers years to figure out how anthrax, a known threat, infiltrates and kills white blood cells; if a terrorist group has deployed a new type of chemical weapon, we won't want to spend years learning how to stop it.

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