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Future Challenges to the BTWC: Neuroscience SIPRI workshop 5/6.03.11 Steven Rose

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Presentation on theme: "Future Challenges to the BTWC: Neuroscience SIPRI workshop 5/6.03.11 Steven Rose"— Presentation transcript:

1 Future Challenges to the BTWC: Neuroscience SIPRI workshop 5/ Steven Rose

2 Themes  1. Current developments in neuroscience  2. Likely relevant neurotech developments  3. Five dichotomies  4. Emerging issues relevant to BTWC

3 Genetic Manipulation  Knock out, knock in mouse models  Human genome,  Epigenomics, proteomics etc

4 Windows into the brain  fMRI  MEG  ERP  PET

5 Smart pharmacology  Smart pharmacology and single photon confocal microscopy

6 The coming decades  Four technoscientific developments of potential significance to conflict and control

7 1. Human-machine interfaces  Visual and other prostheses  Implanted chips  Transcranial magnetic stimulation

8 2. Psychopathic Brains?

9 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)

10 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

11 Five Conflict/Control Dichotomies  Lethal/ ‘Non-lethal’  Military/ Civilian  Enhancing/ Degrading  Physical/(Bio)Chemical  CNS/PNS

12 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

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 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 55 0 C’ but ‘does not burn’..  developed by Communications and Power Industries, Palo Alto  system delivered by Raytheon to US military  Press release states device meets approved human and animal research protocols (!)  (Girard, 2005)

17 The Scream Weapon Bil’in, near Ramallah, June “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)

18 (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

19 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)

20 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

21 ‘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)

22 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


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