DARPA wants Prophecy.

Wired’s Danger Room sees all, knows all, and reveals all – including the Pentagon’s plan to predict biological attacks by knowing all possible outcomes:

They’re hosting a workshop for a new program, called “Prophecy,” that’ll develop methods to predict the rate, location and likely mutations of viral agents.

First, the agency wants novel lab-based methods to reproduce “virus-host interactions,” in different environments. After that, researchers will sequence different viral genomes, and test how they adapt and change under diverse conditions.

Ideally, that’ll yield a host of algorithms, capable of accurately predicting “the rate, direction and phenotype of viral mutations.” From there, scientists will be able to develop appropriate attack strategies in the right geographic locations. Most notably, Darpa wants to see mere mortals outdo the forces of nature, by creating “high energy evolutionary boundaries” that keep genetic mutations at bay.

Naturally, this will also affect things like public health scenarios and, potentially, even the way we handle vaccinations or prescribe antibiotics.