Coffee is so Yesterday

Researchers at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, are testing electrical brain stimulation to keep remotely piloted aircraft operators alert during long missions. The Air Force Research Lab recently rigged several dozen volunteers with electrodes and tested them against a control group cramming caffeine, reported the Boston Globe on Feb. 19. ”We found that people who receive the stimulation are performing consistently” better than the coffee crew, said AFRL biomedical engineer Andy McKinley, according to the newspaper. The Air Force is still investigating the potential long-term effects of the technique but is “well beyond the proof-of-concept phase,” said McKinley. “We are working on something that would be easy to apply that you could potentially field,” he added. AFRL is jointly undertaking the project with DARPA and the Army, according to the report.