Military readiness and national security
depend on the health and wellbeing of military servicemembers. DoD’s
cumulative investment in personnel comprises the second-largest share of the
total defense budget. As such, DoD seeks advances in healthcare to ensure
warfighters can operate at peak performance. In this context, the
Biochronicity program will explore the role of time in biological functions in
pursuit of breakthroughs in managing the effects of time on human physiology.
Time is a fundamental variable in all science, including biology.
Biological clocks regulate almost every function in the human body, yet
scientists lack a clear understanding of the coordination of timing on multiple
scales to influence processes such as cell-cycle progression, growth,
metabolism, aging and cell death.
The Biochronicity program is an
interdisciplinary research effort that seeks to identify common spatio-temporal
instructions, or “clock signatures,” in biological organisms by using
empirically derived data, as well as bioinformatics and data-mining
techniques. Early phases of the program will aim to identify and validate
networks of temporal regulators to enable development of predictive algorithms
for time-dependent processes in biological organisms.
advancements in the understanding of timing in biology could potentially
contribute to many defense imperatives, including enhancing human combat
performance, improving trauma care on the battlefield by expanding the window
of opportunity for medical treatment and surgical intervention, and
understanding the mechanisms behind disease and managing their effects.
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