Medical researchers at the Pentagon have created a microchip that detects COVID-19 when it is inserted under the skin.
Relax, conspiracy theorists – they are not spread by vaccines.
The revolutionary technology was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which operates under the Pentagon umbrella, according to the Sunday night broadcast of “60 Minutes.” The top-secret unit was launched during the Cold War to explore new technologies for military use – among them innovation to defend soldiers against biological weapons.
Retired Army Colonel Dr. Matt Hepburn, an infectious disease physician, revealed that the microchip, which is not in widespread use outside the Department of Defense, could detect COVID-1
“We challenge the research community to come up with solutions that may sound like science fiction,” said Hepburn, whose role in DARPA, he added, is to “take pandemics off the table.”
Hepburn compared their diagnostic microchip to a car’s check engine alarm.
Despite conspiracy theories claiming that Microsoft’s Bill Gates uses vaccines as a means of inserting a microscopic global positioning system into our bodies, “60 Minutes” clarified that DARPA’s chip would not “detect any movement.” Nor is it managed via shots, as some potential Twitter sleuths have been considering.
“It’s a sensor,” Hepburn told CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker. “The little green thing in there, you put it under your skin, and what tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside your body, and that signal means you get symptoms tomorrow.”
The microchip, embedded in a tissue-like gel, is designed to continuously test the chip recipient’s blood for the presence of the virus. Once COVID-19 is detected, the chip warns the patient to perform a rapid, self-administering blood test to confirm the positive result.
“We can get this information in three to five minutes,” Hepburn said. “When you truncate that time while diagnosing and treating, stop the infection in its tracks.”
The segment also revealed technology that enabled a standard dialysis machine to remove COVID-19 from the blood using a custom filter. Blood is passed through the machine where it is detoxified, then pumped back into the body in a continuous stream until the body is free of the virus.
A military spouse named “Patient 16” survived a serious illness, including organ failure and septic shock, thanks to the new dialysis machine. The treatment lasted for four days, after which patient 16 had received a full recovery.
DARPA researchers say their research is critically important in preventing outbreaks in overcrowded military districts, such as the one that took place on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in March and April 2020, in which 1,271 crew members tested positive for coronavirus.
Pentagon researchers continue to study COVID-19, and much of their research has been critical in stopping the pandemic, including new methods for detecting and developing antibodies within approx. 10 weeks – a fraction of the six to 24 months previously required.
They hope to eventually close the gap between new disease discovery and vaccine development.
Finally, DARPA scientist Dr. James Crowe, “We would start with a blood test from a survivor … and give you an injection of the cure within 60 days.”
“For us at DARPA, if the experts laugh at you and say it’s impossible, you’re in the right room,” Hepburn said.