The Air Force plans to spend $49 million to research how nonlethal weapons affect human DNA, according to Wired’s Danger Room:
Recently, the Air Force Bioeffects Division announced it’s exploring how radiation from non-lethal energy weapons can cause changes to the body at the molecular level. The Air Force is pretty broad about what kind of weapons it wants to test: “directed energy, riot control agents, broadband light, acoustic sounds, and blunt impact materials.” An award for a $49 million contract to conduct studies, laboratory tests and field experiments is expected in September, and tests in San Antonio are expected to last for seven years.
The Air Force admits that it still has to experiment with the weapons using both animal and human test subjects before determining to what extent they can be used.
The Air Force still has to do the research first. For that, it’ll carry out “proteomic, genomic, and metabolomic studies that identify critical biochemical or molecular changes following exposure to DE [directed energy weapons] prior to or during mission operations.” That could mean looking at how concentrated blasts of radio frequency waves and high-power microwaves manipulate our proteins, DNA and metabolites.
To be clear: The Air Force doesn’t want to kill you by messing with your DNA. These are explicitly tests for non-lethal weapons. The announcement notes that the tests may involve human subjects (and animals), and that it will “prohibit research that presents unacceptable hazards or otherwise fails to comply with DoD procedures.”
Nonlethal weapons, such as the Long-Range Acoustic Device, have been in the Department of Defense’s arsenal for years but have seen very limited action in battle, being recalled from Afghanistan without ever being used.