When it comes to war, guns and tanks (and even drones?) may soon be a thing of the past. Modern warfare (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show) will use germs and DNA.
In the Atlantic, Andrew Hessel, March Goodman, Steven Kotler report that the US government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, including Barack Obama. These genetic blueprints could provide compromising information, as well as well as the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could kill without leaving a trace.
They authors postulate this scenario: A microbiologist creates a synthetic psychedelic that if effective only on people with a specific type of DNA. When taken at a party, a women starts to feel flu-like symptoms, but her sneezing and coughing would infect only people who had a similar DNA sequence, which "would act as a molecular key to unlock secondary functions that were not so benign. This secondary sequence would trigger a fast-acting neuro-destructive disease that produced memory loss and, eventually, death."
This might be an easy way to assassinate a dangerous dictator, but what if one of the people with this particular DNA sequence was the President of the United States? It would be an ultimate example of "friendly fire."
Medicine is already becoming personalized. Most cancer drugs kill cells, but today we know that each cancer is unique, and research is shifting to the development of personalized medicines that can exterminate specific cancerous cells in a specific way, in a specific person.
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