Military Launching Preemptive Strikes Against Mental Illness

Genetic testing and brain scans for new recruits attempt to cut out PTSD-prone soldiers

With nearly 1.8 million U.S. soldiers having rotated through Iraq and Afghanistan and another troop escalation expected in coming weeks, researchers are doing double-time to define the causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to better serve troops returning from war. With two wars going and no end in sight, scientists have quite an abundance of subjects on which to carry out their research.

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Weapons Manufacturer Unveils Black Box for Guns

The gadget would record details of every shot fired to track both weapon and user performance

Military and police higher-ups can now see just how many shots a particular weapon fired during the course of a battle or incident. The Register reports that a new black box device designed for rifles and submachine guns could report on ammo usage and weapon jamming, as well as who shot whom at what time.

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DARPA Wants Cryogenic Technology on the Battlefield to Freeze Traumatic Brain Injury in its Tracks

The Pentagon's mad science lab is trying to create a device that can cool traumatized brains and slow secondary damage from blasts

Blasts from improvised explosives and RPGs can cause traumatic brain injuries among soldiers, which can leave permanent damage. Sounds like a challenge for the Pentagon's mad science lab DARPA, which has issued a call for a brain freeze device that could stop the after-effects of brain trauma in its tracks, Wired's Danger Room reports.

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Google's Android Allows Soldiers to Put Drones on Buddy List

Defense giant Raytheon has turned Google's mobile operating system into a military application

Google's Android operating system for cell phones could allow soldiers to track fellow squad members and even unmanned drones in real time on a map -- as long as the humans and robots are on their buddy list.

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US General Demands Robot Army, Counts 122 Lives That Bots Could Have Saved

Like most Army commanders, Lt. General Rick Lynch says that he needed more troops in Iraq, and that they would have saved the lives of men lost under his command. Unlike most commanders though, Lynch isn't demanding flesh and blood soldiers, but steel and rubber robotic infantrymen.

Speaking at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference, Lynch said that robot systems already in place could have saved 122 of the 155 men who died during his time in Iraq.

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A "Mood Ring" For Brain Trauma

A new color-changing badge may help medics determine the severity of brain trauma in soldiers exposed to bomb blasts

The September Popular Science feature "Shock to the System" (on newsstands next week), discusses the hidden danger of brain trauma faced by soldiers exposed to bomb blasts. The article reveals that one in five American soldiers serving in Iraq may be suffering from a brain injury—not from direct contact with explosions, but from the effects of bomb blast waves that can cause life-threatening damage at the cellular level, even from distances previously considered safe.

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Rebuilding the Troops

For wounded soldiers, the military's Institute of Regenerative Medicine offers dramatic new ways to heal

Skin guns. Organ printers. Pig dust. Biochemist Alan Russell believes tools like these could one day be standard-issue for the battlefield medic. The skin gun would heal burns. The organ printer would replace badly wounded livers, kidneys, even hearts. And the pig dust?

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