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DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
Spinal cord injury disrupts the connection between brain and body, causing devastating loss of physiological function to the wounded warfighter. In addition to paralysis, service members living with these injuries exhibit increased long-term morbidity due to factors such as respiratory and cardiovascular complications. Bridging the Gap Plus (BG+), a new DARPA program that combines neurotechnology, artificial intelligence, and biological sensors, opens the possibility of overcoming the worst effects of spinal cord injuries by promoting healing at the wound site and interfacing with the nervous system at points around the body to restore natural functions such as breathing, bowel and bladder control, movement, touch, and proprioception that can be lost when the spinal cord is damaged.