April 22, 2021
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Tricky molecules
Nano and biotechnology in modern warfare

As with many other materials and technologies that developed nations have produced since the beginning of the industrial revolution nanotechnology and biotechnology lend themselves to the concept of “dual use”,  a phrase used differently from the current set of technologies that can be used both for civil and military purposes.

“Dual use” in the case of nanotechnology and biotechnology are products that can be used to greater effect in the legitimate use in warfare or they can generate toxins that are more rapidly dispersible in crowded localities for mass destruction of populations. They can be ‘weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs) to greater effect, potency and rapidity. More particularly, their deployment may not be detected till it is too late and the victims would not know that they have been targeted.

Yet some of the nano and biotech by-products can be used to detect and neutralize many of the WMDs of the current generation. Strange as it may sound the current “ethics of war” that are the found
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