Sing the Body ElectRx

… ElectRx seeks to advance understanding of the anatomy and physiology of specific neural circuits and their role in health and disease. Fundamental biology efforts will set out to culminate in proof-of-concept demonstrations of feedback-controlled neuromodulation strategies to establish healthy physiological states. __ http://www.darpa.mil/program/electrical-prescriptions

Body Electric by DARPA http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-10-05 via NextBigFuture

Body Electric (ElectRx) by DARPA
ElectRx seeks to advance understanding of the anatomy and physiology of specific neural circuits and their role in health and disease
http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-10-05
via NextBigFuture

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Walt Whitman
__ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174740

DARPA is devising a “quick reaction force” for the human body, able to detect unhealthy effects and to trigger change reactions to help restore the body to health, and to maintain health in opposition to adverse body states.

“The peripheral nervous system is the body’s information superhighway, communicating a vast array of sensory and motor signals that monitor our health status and effect changes in brain and organ functions to keep us healthy,“ said Doug Weber, the ElectRx program manager and a biomedical engineer who previously worked as a researcher for the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We envision technology that can detect the onset of disease and react automatically to restore health by stimulating peripheral nerves to modulate functions in the brain, spinal cord and internal organs.”
__ http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-10-05

Several teams of scientists and engineers in the US and Australia will map out mechanisms of inflammation, immunity, gene expression, nerve malfunction etc. which contribute to disease onset and symptoms, and devise methods of electromagnetic stimulation to counter these ill effects via the peripheral nervous system.

Most of the recent research into the healing effects of electromagnetism has focused on the central nervous system. By utilising the peripheral nervous system, scientists, bioengineers, and clinicians can actually access both central and peripheral systems — using the peripheral system as a gateway to the spinal cord and brain.

“Using the peripheral nervous system as a medium for delivering therapy is largely new territory and it’s rich with potential to manage many of the conditions that impact the readiness of our military and, more generally, the health of the nation,” Weber said. “It will be an exciting path forward.” __ http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-10-05

h/t NextBigFuture

More:

… ElectRx seeks to advance understanding of the anatomy and physiology of specific neural circuits and their role in health and disease. Fundamental biology efforts will set out to culminate in proof-of-concept demonstrations of feedback-controlled neuromodulation strategies to establish healthy physiological states. In parallel, ElectRx will seek to develop disruptive biological-interface technologies required to monitor biomarkers and peripheral nerve activity, as well as deliver therapeutic signals to peripheral nerve targets. Technology development will focus on chronic demonstrations of efficacy in biosensing or neuromodulation. Potential new approaches include in vivo, real-time biosensors and novel neural interfaces using optical, acoustic, electromagnetic, or engineered biology strategies to achieve precise targeting with potentially single-axon resolution.
__ http://www.darpa.mil/program/electrical-prescriptions

These approaches to maintaining and achieving health are intriguing, and worth following. From the earliest moments of embryonic existence, human development is guided and affected by subtle electromagnetic fields. Science and bioengineering have barely begun to understand how electromagnetics and optoelectronics can aid in healing, recovery, rehabilitation, and achieving “extra-optimal” fitness of mind and body.

An early commercial approach to accessing the CNS via the peripheral vagus nerve

Interesting work on bioelectricity by Robert Becker MD including a link to a full PDF download of his classic work “The Body Electric,” and much more.

Quick and interesting Discover article on a few bioelectric apps

42 pp 2009 PDF on potential of bioelectronics from US NIST (National Institutes of Standards and Technology)
Bioelectronics Framework US NIST Bioelectronics Framework US NIST
http://www.nist.gov/pml/div683/upload/bioelectronics_report.pdf%5B/caption%5D

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