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Terrorists Target Real-Life Nanotech Researchers

| 26 Aug 2011 14:20

Terrorists have launched a bombing campaign against international nanotechnology research centers, warning that modified nanoviruses or "gray goo" have the potential to wipe out all life on Earth.

A Mexican terrorist group calling itself "Individuals Tending to Savagery" has unleashed a package bombing campaign against nanotech researchers around the world, sending mail bombs to institutions in Mexico, France, Spain and Chile. A number of people have been injured by the explosive devices, including two professors at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Learning outside of Mexico City.

The group claims to be inspired by Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, who killed three people and wounded 23 others over a span of more than 20 years before his arrest in 1996. In a manifesto posted online, the group said it was targeting nanotechnology research out of fears that a "gray goo" caused by uncontrolled replication of nanomachines, or the release of a deadly nanovirus, could wipe out all life on Earth.

"When these modified viruses affect the way we live through a nano-bacteriological war, unleashed by some laboratory error or by the explosion of nano-pollution that affects the air, food, water, transport, in short the entire world, then all of those who defend nanotechnology and don't think it is a threat will realize that it was a grave error to let it grow out of control," it said.

If that sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the two doomsday scenarios are major plot points in the classic 2000 videogame Deus Ex and its less-spectacular sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War. In the original Deus Ex, the human race is being decimated by a man-made plague known as "Gray Death" while battles erupt around the world for control of a synthetic vaccine called "Ambrosia"; in Invisible War, the city of Chicago is destroyed by a "Nanite Detonator," a limited-growth gray goo bomb.

It's great fodder for sci-fi tales but not so much fun when people are being maimed and killed in real life. No attacks have taken place in the U.S. at this point but some universities have increased mail room security as a precaution and Mexico State Attorney General Alfredo Castillo recommended earlier this month that Mexican universities do the same.

Source: Times Union

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