Electrobiome Scientists Hope Manipulating Microcurrents Can Cure “Dozens of Ailments”

(p. 10) A decade ago Adee became especially intrigued by some highly secret taxpayer-funded work performed by the Pentagon’s ultra-costly fun factory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, inventors (they claim) of the internet. Lately the agency has been conducting, if that be the word, experiments on how best to harness the body’s minute pulses of cellular battery power, and turn them to military advantage — by killing people, that is. Might electricity help our G.I.s to whack our enemies ever more quickly and efficiently, tuning a soldier’s brain by jolting it with carefully targeted surges of electric shocks?

“We Are Electric” begins with a highly seductive scenario: Adee is flown from Europe to a clandestine Pentagon facility in the mountains of Southern California.

. . .

The lights dim, and a tsunami of simulated assaults then commences, overwhelming the scene. DARWARS — Ambush! they call it. Computer-generated enemy troops flood onto the field, squadrons of Humvees, faceless men with suicide belts, all attacking without mercy, and at all of which Adee fires her gun, wildly. Mostly, she misses.

Then the smoke clears, her DARPA handler-bros return and this time they turn on the juice. The lights dim once again, the faux-soldiers pour in and everything changes. Through the smoke and din and confusion of battle, there emerges from within Adee’s terrified mind the calculating confidence of a cool and logically-directed assassin. One by one she picks off the invaders. She fires and fires until her magazine is depleted. The battlespace falls silent. The smoke clears once again.

. . .

Dozens of ailments may yet be cured, say the believers, by manipulating the ions down the billions of miles of invisible circuitry that lies deep within our bodies.

Sally Adee has written an absorbing and fast-paced account of a field of research that could thus herald a whole new era of paradigm-shifting medicine. Moreover, she has done so without apparently drinking the Kool-Aid of today’s many bioelectricity boosters.

For the full review, see:

Simon Winchester. “Charged Up.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, March 26, 2023): 10.

(Note: the online version of the review has the date February 28, 2023, and has the title “Meet the Electrome. It Can Turn You Into an Assassin.”)

The book under review is:

Adee, Sally. We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body’s Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds. New York: Hachette Books, 2023.

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