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“Drezner, Are You Listening?”

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Quoth Adam Weinstein at Current Intelligence, as he explores the science behind “zombie ants.” Yes, you read that right.

You see, for 48 million years, a parasitic fungus called Ophiocordyceps has existed on forest beds, waiting to be picked up by tree-dwelling ants that happen by in their travels…

Weinstein’s article contains various links on how this works and how truly scary it is. But most interestingly ominous are his speculations about the potential weaponization of such bio-agents by nefarious, nefarious humans:

I’m no chemical or biological weapons expert, so if you are, tell me if I’m crazy, please: Can you imagine a future powder solution, not unlike weaponizable anthrax or botulinum agent, that spreads a fungus capable of commandeering a human brain? Could particular strains be developed to direct hosts into this behavior or that: jumping out of windows, refusing to eat, choking strangers out? Could it even be used to turn reasonable, free-thinking individuals into PBIEDs — that is, suicide bombers?… If the fungal mind-control can be a reality, then we’d better go beyond a zombie theory of international relations: We’ll need a zombie biological defence strategy.

Theories of International Politics and Zombies: Revised National Security Edition, edited by Daniel Drezner and Adam Weinstein? Forthcoming Princeton University Press 2012?

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