Fans of Captain America may be able to see a real-life version soon as China and France are developing biologically-enhanced super soldiers.
China has already started creating super soldiers and France has joined in on the bandwagon. A top intelligence official from the US revealed that in China, there were already members of China's People's Liberation Army who were subjected to human testing for their Captain America-like super soldiers. In France, its army got the go-ahead to create bionic soldiers with prosthetics and treatment which would make them faster and stronger.
A Wall Street Journal op-ed revealed that John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, stated that China is launching an unethical military experiment. He also cited a US intelligence report titled "People's Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today" and said that Beijing's pursuit of power has no ethical boundaries.
NBC News revealed that China has been quite ambitious in utilising biotechnology during a war by using gene-editing technology, which Western scientists consider as unethical. Chinese researchers call the tool Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR).
On the other hand, the ethical committee of France's armed forces ministry has given the nod to its augmented soldiers. The country seeks to improve its armed forces' "physical, cognitive, perceptive and psychological capacities." The soldiers will allow for location tracking as well as connectivity with other soldiers. The research includes drugs that will help keep soldiers awake for long periods. The drugs will also help them in combating stress.
The new French augmented soldiers are called homo robocopus. It is also possible that this new set of enhanced troops could have altered DNA that would enhance their speed and strength.
Michael Clarke, a visiting professor in war studies at King's College London, said that they have reached the point where they can potentially manipulate the DNA of individuals to give them more endurance and strength in the same way that they have done so in animals. He also compared DNA alteration in soldiers with what they have done with cattle. He added that what they have done is merely fuelled by fears of China's program.