According to Engadget, America's futurist military think tank, DARPA, wants to figure out the means to slow down the biological functions of the human body to provide more time for medics and doctors to treat their wounded patients.
If the notion of biostasis sounds like the stuff of science fiction to you, that's because it totally is – at least for now. While some creatures are able to regulate the cells in their body to the point where they can survive long-term freezing or dehydration, humans are, comparatively, delicate little snowflakes. We bleed out, we die. By finding a way to slow down or freeze the functions of our bodies, combat-injured soldiers could have more time to make it to life-saving treatments away from the front lines. Were DARPA to find a way to do this for soldiers, the rest of us could likely wind up benefiting too. In the past, other medical technologies, antihemorrhagic compounds, like those found in QuikClot bandages, found their start on the battlefield, but have made their way into the civilian market.
If you're interested in seeing how DARPA's biostasis program pans out, you'd best get comfortable. DARPA won't even start answering the questions from companies looking to throw science at the problem until later this month.