Sunday, October 17, 2010

DARPA Wants to Track, Trace & Database U.S. Military's Food & Nutrition in Real Time (Set to Host Workshop)

U.S. Army Soldiers eat their Thanksgiving meal on Combat Outpost Cherkatah, Khowst province, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2009. The Soldiers are deployed with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment.U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

We really do live in the 21st century with all of the advanced technologies that come out of DARPA. DARPA's latest technology will allow the military to track troops' nutrition through biometrics on 24-7 basis. Per Wired Magazine Online, "The Pentagon’s looking to keep tabs on troop nutrition 24/7, using "non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques" to track a series of nutritional indicators on an ongoing basis." Therefore, don't eat that extra large bag of gummy bears or else Big Brother will know.

Click here for the FBO solicitation listing for this project.

You can download the official DARPA document at this link or read the text below:


Special Notice DARPA-SN-11-04 Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop
WORKSHOP DATE: 15 November 2010

Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can cure the patient with food.
- Hippocrates, 420 BC

Optimal functioning of virtually every organ and system in the human body is contingent upon a proper supply and balance of the appropriate nutrients. Poor nutrition can lead to both physical and mental ailments and increases susceptibility to illness, infection and injury. Maintaining nutrition necessary for optimal performance presents a substantial and continuous challenge in the operational environment. This challenge is compounded by individual variability of nutritional needs in different operational environments (extreme heat, altitude, etc.) and under different physical and mental conditions (extended missions, stress, etc.). Currently, no nutritional assessment of active duty troops on an individual basis other than weight exists. Further, nutritional assessments tend to be at the organizational level or performed only for diagnosis of an illness. With current technologies, nutritional assessments in the field pose several logistical issues: obtaining blood, tissue or saliva samples for every person and sending the samples to central labs is time-consuming, expensive and introduces a risk of infection. Additionally, these forms of assessment provide a snapshot of nutritional status at a single point in time, and multiple samples over time would be necessary to assess if a nutritional intervention is working to bring up levels of a deficient nutrient. Identification of relevant nutritional markers indicative of performance under variable conditions and knowledge of optimal in vivo nutrient status are also poorly characterized.

To encourage and stimulate discussion around operational nutritional assessment, DARPA will be hosting a Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop. The workshop aims to bring together members of the nutrition community and the point of use device community to review the current state-of-the-art in nutritional assessment technology and to identify the research and development needs for point of use devices that perform assessments of nutritional status of our warfighters. Topics of discussion will include: identification of the top 10 essential nutritional biomarkers (metabolites, vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants, etc.) relevant to human performance under variable conditions; means of determining optimal in vivo nutrient concentration; non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques for nutritional assessment; new technologies that enable real-time assessment of nutrient levels; limitations of current science and technology; direct measures of nutrients vs. indirect measures of nutrient metabolism (ex. Blood omega3/EPA/DHA levels vs. membrane integrity); and applications of nanomedicine to nutrition detection technology.

The workshop will conclude with discussions to foster concept development and future planning for research and development in the area of point of use devices for nutritional assessment.

The Workshop will be held at The Executive Conference Center at Liberty Center, 4075 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203. The primary objective of the Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop is to facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas that we feel are essential to the development of optimized point of use nutritional assessment devices. The Workshop will include brief presentations by representatives in relevant areas, but these are intended mainly to facilitate communication, interaction and collaborative discussion. Workshop details including registration, meeting location and lodging are given on the registration website at (initial login username and pw are case sensitive):
Username: Diagnostic
PW: Devices

There is no fee for the Workshop. Registration is limited by the venue capacity (40 participants, no more than two participants per organization). The registration cutoff date is November 5, 2010, and early registration is strongly recommended.

Further administrative questions should be addressed to Please refer to the Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop (DARPA-SN-11-04) in all correspondence. This announcement is not a request for proposals; any so sent will be returned.

Point of Contact
COL Christian Macedonia, Program Manager, DARPA/DSO;

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