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Terrorism & Nanotechnology

Date: 12-04-04
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Bart Kosko

Professor of Electrical Engineering at USC, Bart Kosko, joined Art on Saturday to discuss the latest advances and dangers of nanotechnology, as well as the US war against terrorism.

Kosko cited his recent Los Angeles Times article, Terror Threat May Be Mostly a Big Bluff, in which he argues that we have overestimated the threat of terrorism. Even so, Kosko thinks the probability for a major terrorist attack against the US within the next decade is 90 percent. He doubts that it would be a nuclear strike, however, because the materials necessary to make such a bomb are not readily available.

Kosko imagined a hypothetical "nano-bomb" that could be programmed by terrorists for the selective destruction of a country's food supply. He further theorized about a biological weapon that could eradicate an entire race of people by screening for certain protein chains unique to that race. Kosko also talked about the global race to secure nanotech patents, smart clothes and the health perils of cell phone use.

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