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Future Challenges to the BTWC: Neuroscience. SIPRI workshop 5/6.03.11 Steven Rose [email protected] Themes. 1. Current developments in neuroscience 2. Likely relevant neurotech developments 3. Five dichotomies 4. Emerging issues relevant to BTWC. Genetic Manipulation.

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  • 1. Current developments in neuroscience
  • 2. Likely relevant neurotech developments
  • 3. Five dichotomies
  • 4. Emerging issues relevant to BTWC
genetic manipulation
Genetic Manipulation
  • Knock out, knock in mouse models
  • Human genome,
  • Epigenomics, proteomics etc
smart pharmacology
Smart pharmacology
  • Smart pharmacology and single photon confocal microscopy
the coming decades
The coming decades
  • Four technoscientific developments of potential significance to conflict and control
1 human machine interfaces
1. Human-machine interfaces
  • Visual and other prostheses
  • Implanted chips
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
3 brain imaging for surveillance
3. Brain imaging for surveillance
  • “How do we determine if a person is a terrorist or spy? There is a new technology, that ..allows us to measure scientifically if specific information is stored in a person’s brain. Brain Fingerprinting technology can determine the presence or absence of specific information, such as terrorist training and associations. This exciting new technology can help….
  • discover if a person:
  • Has committed terrorist acts
  • Has been trained as a terrorist
  • Is a terrorist leader…. (from the company website)
4 new psychochemicals
4. New psychochemicals
  • Greater behavioural insights leading to new control technologies
  • Rational drug design to interact with neurotransmitters, receptors, affecting central and peripheral nervous system
  • New methods of delivery for peptides etc
five conflict control dichotomies
Five Conflict/Control Dichotomies
  • Lethal/ ‘Non-lethal’
  • Military/ Civilian
  • Enhancing/ Degrading
  • Physical/(Bio)Chemical
lethal non lethal
Lethal/ ‘Non-Lethal’
  • Lethal – nerve gases, toxins etc.
        • Already covered by conventions – no new issues from neuroscience although new genetic technologies make possible wider range of specific toxins? Targeted ‘ethnic weapons’?
  • ‘Non-Lethal’ aka ‘Riot Control’
    • Agents that incapacitate, disorientate, induce pain or loss of consciousness
        • Many new issues
military civilian
  • Present conventions deal with military uses – do not cover uses in civil conflict, by police etc.
  • Thus a grey area – witness past and current events in Russia, Israel/Palestine, Libya …..
  • In general such civil conflict uses employ ‘non-lethal’ agents though often in contexts in which they are far from non-lethal
  • Many nations have active ‘non-lethal’ research programmes – ambiguous civil/military intentions
enhancement degradation
Enhancement /Degradation
  • Neuroscience advances offer military technologies of enhancement to one’s own side – eg brain/computer interfaces, cognitive and attention enhancers (eg ritalin, modafanil)
  • as well as technologies of degradation to opponents – again only degradation considered here
potential physical non cb weaponry aimed at neural systems
Potential Physical (non CB) Weaponry aimed at neural systems
  • Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation
  • Directed energy (microwaves, lasers etc)
  • Acoustic energy (sound blasters)
  • ‘Active denial’
  • etc (see Davison: ‘Non-lethal’ weapons, 2009; RS report 2011)
  • Some in current production and use (eg IDF)
  • Some under US, Czech, German contracts (Davison 2009, BMA 2007)
  • Much snake-oil
active denial technology
Active Denial Technology
  • ‘a breakthrough non-lethal technology that uses millimetre-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary from relatively long range… ADT exploits intolerance of thermally induced pain..maximised at a temperature of 550C’ but ‘does not burn’..
  • developed by Communications and Power Industries, Palo Alto
  • 2004 - system delivered by Raytheon to US military
  • Press release states device meets approved human and animal research protocols (!)
  • (Girard, 2005)
the scream weapon
The Scream Weapon
  • Bil’in, near Ramallah, June 6 2005
  • “new weapon knocks crowds off feet”
  • “the knees buckle high technology toolkit”, the brain aches, the stomach turns..the latest weapon in the Israeli army’s toolkit”
  • (Press reports)
bio chemical agents aimed at pns
(Bio)Chemical agents aimed at PNS
  • Tear gasses etc in this category:
  • Enhanced CS
  • Pepper ball (PAVA; capsaicin)
  • Agents causing temporary blindness or neuromuscular relaxation/paralysis
  • Nb all can be lethal
the pepperball
The Pepperball
  • IDF attack on peaceful Israeli and Palestinian protest against the Wall, 28 April 05
  • “a small transparent red plastic ball …containing a creamy white powder.. when it hits the skin and explodes produces an extreme burning sensation”
  • (Giacaman, 2005)
definitions for cns non lethals
Definitions for CNS non-lethals
  • Highly potent
  • Duration hours to days but effects transient
  • Reversible effects
  • Low ED50, High LD50
  • (but impossible in practice)
  • Logistically feasible - i.e skin or breath absorbable, cross BBB, weaponisable
non lethal agents aimed at cns
‘Non-Lethal’ agents aimed at CNS
  • ‘off the rocker’ or ‘on the floor’ (Davison)
  • Incapacitating/calmative (thiopental, diazepam)
  • Sedative –hypnotic (barbiturates)
  • anxiolytic
  • Convulsant
  • Disorienting (BZ – muscarinic antagonist, other hallucinogens)
  • Paralysing/anaesthetic/analgesic (opioids, fentanyl)
potential novel agents
Potential novel agents
  • Non-cholinergic or opioid agonists/antagonists
    • Receptor/reuptake inhibitors
  • ‘Memory erasers’ (anti-CREB etc)
  • ‘Trust inducers’ (oxytocin etc)
  • ‘Mood-modifiers’
  • Derived from non-traditional drugs – peptides, proteins, ge toxins etc