"THE PATCH" -- FOR FOOD For years, smokers looking to quit have used "the patch" to deliver small doses of their nicotine fix. Now the Army is working on a similar system -- to give soldiers the nutrients they need during wartime.Here's how the Transdermal Nutrient Delivery System might work, its developers say: tiny physiological monitors would keep tabs on a soldier's metabolism, and then send information on his nutritional needs to a processor. This processor would then trigger a microelectrical mechanical system that would transmit the micronutrients either through skin pores or pumped directly into blood capillaries -- into the soldier's body.But don't expect relief from those nasty-tasting rations any time soon. The Natick Soldier Center says it won't be ready for another decade, at least.

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