This article is incredibly cool. I think biological based SF is poised for an explosion. Most Hard SF is based upon physics or astronomy. Sometimes nanotech, which is an offshoot of chemistry, but the advances being made in biology are exceeding what we are coming up with in SF.
This article immediately made me think of the pleasure gun in Niven’s Ringworld. Instead of debilitating with pain, it debilitated by over-excited the pleasure centers of the targets body. But much more devious things can be done with reward-reinforcement training. What about a weapon that released dried algae into the atmosphere, and then a photon bomb that triggered the reward pathways the algae inhabited? Wouldn’t a bomb be limitless in power? What about an optical virus, that created regressive loops in the viewers brain?
What would happen if all one had to do to stop addiction is drink a shot of blue-green algae juice and look at a glorified light bulb? What would the world be like sans addiction? Would cigarette companies buy-out the start-ups developing these technologies and destroy them? Would people start using more drugs with the ease of quitting them? Would excuses ala Tiger Woods and David Duchovny be a thing of the past?
I’m trying to show that any of these science articles can be used to explore both bad and good futures. SF is getting so dark. Don’t forget that our lives today were the future of someone a hundred years ago.