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In the future military units could rely on parasites to protect them from enemy weapons after the United States government gave two of Australia’s leading researchers almost $US2.5 million ($A3.4 million) to research the potential of worms and other parasitic organisms to help combat chemical and biological weapons. Prof. Alex Loukas and Dr. Paul Giacomin from James Cook University received the funding from the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and will investigate the use of helminths—parasitic worms that infect up to 2 billion people around the world—to protect military personnel against bioterrorism agents. “Your naturally occurring wild type ‘hookworm’ doesn’t secrete anything that will naturally protect against bioterrorism agents such as anthrax or Ebola virus,” Loukas told AAP. “We can engineer the worm’s genome so that it will secrete therapeutic molecules that will protect against those different bioterrorism agents.” Loukas, who is a molecular parasitologist, said the project …