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Disturbing New Chemical Weapons

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Science and Technology, military, biology, weapons, Nature,

Military Gas MaskWorld governments may be militarizing biology and other life sciences to make strange and disturbing weapons. A 2007 report by the British Medical Association warned of a “slippery slope” in using drugs as weapons that could lead to “intentional manipulation of peoples' emotions, memories, immune responses or even fertility.”

Biologists are allowing this militarization to happen, according to Malcolm Dando in Nature, through an alarming lack of engagement. For example, research into the hormone oxytocin—which has been shown to increase people’s trust when taken in a nasal spray—could easily be co-opted by the military. Existing chemical weapons treaties are inadequate, according to Dando, and biologists need to step up and make sure their research isn’t used to harm.

Source: Nature