Dr. Charles Lieber is a nano-scientist at Harvard University. He was recently charged by the American authorities for secretly being a Chinese agent. However, there is a mystery surrounding the nature of his work. It is said he was recruited for advanced research into nanowire-batteries. But investigation by GreatGameIndia has shown that Lieber was in fact working on virus transmitters that could penetrate cell membranes without affecting the intercellular functions, and even measure activities inside heart cells and muscle fibers.
Chinese Agent Charles Lieber
Dr. Charles Lieber is a nano-scientist at Harvard University who also serves as a chair for Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He was arrested by the U.S. Department of Defense in January for lying about his association with China’s Thousand Talents Program. It is basically a recruitment plan which seeks to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China and, in return, reward individuals for stealing proprietary information.
According to the charging documents, Lieber was a contractual participant of the program and was paid $50,000 monthly, along with $158,000 in living expenses and $1.74 million to set up a research lab at Wuhan University. The fact that Lieber kept his association with the Chinese a secret put his integrity in question, as well as financial conflicts of interest, including financial support from foreign governments or foreign entities.
Nanowire-Batteries – a Smokescreen?
What’s more concerning is that the affidavit released by the federal prosecutors states that Leiber signed an agreement between Harvard and Wuhan Insitute of Technology. According to the affidavit, the purpose of the agreement was to “carry out advanced research and development of nanowire-based lithium-ion batteries with high performance for electric vehicles.”
However, things don’t add up since the focus of Lieber’s research has never been about nanowire batteries. One nanoscientist and former student of Lieber’s says: “I have never seen Charlie working on batteries or nanowire batteries.” In fact, in all his research papers and patents, there is no mention of “batteries” or “vehicles”.
Although Lieber was released a day later on a $1 million bond, the question remains what exactly was the nature of Lieber’s research.
Lieber and his ‘Virus Transmitters’
Dr. Lieber joined Harvard in 1991. In his early days at the university, he made great strides in the field by growing nanowires in a flask. Researchers before Leiber were already creating wire-like structures with the help of semiconductors, metals and other materials. However, their approach would be quite expensive and would need clean-room facilities like the ones used by computer chip-makers.
In contrast, Lieber could create nanostructures using nothing but simple and inexpensive chemical techniques. He even went a step further to show how these nanowires could be used as transistors, complex logic circuits, data storage devices, and even sensors.
In 2001, Harvard Magazine published a report that discussed Lieber and his team’s research into what was termed as ‘Liquid Computing’. The report mentioned how Lieber was at the forefront solving silicon-based microelectronics industry’s greatest challenge – making silicon chips smaller and smaller.
Lieber noted that “continued shrinkage ultimately becomes problematic in terms of just how one achieves [it].” Instead, he created tiny logic circuits and memory – the two main components of a computer – using nanowires. And these circuits were really tiny, some of which just a few atoms across!
Ten years later, Lieber created a transistor so small it can be used to penetrate cell membranes and probe their interiors, without affecting the intercellular functions. The bio-compatible transistor – the size of a virus – can not only measure activities inside a neuron but also heart cells and muscle fibers.
In 2017, Lieber and his team successfully created flexible 3D nanowire mesh that can be injected into the brain or retina of an animal, attach itself to the neurons and monitor electrical signals between the cells.
It’s no surprise the Chinese officials were quick to get him onboard considering he’s the brightest brain when it comes to nanotechnology. Not only his research would have made China an important player in this futuristic technology, but it would also be a be a step forward towards China’s stated goal of Biological Dominance.
Nanotech in the Battlefield
The importance of nanotechnology in advanced warfare can be understood from the fact that the United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) is one of the largest supporters of nanotechnology research. They have funded hundreds of millions of dollars into various research related to nanoelectronics and nanomaterials.
The technology could help create nanosensors and nanocoatings that military could use to protect soldiers against chemical and biological attacks. The fact that nanosensors can detect microscopic quantities of chemicals means it can be used as an effective early warning system against chemical warfare agents such as nerve agents and blood agents.
One can see why Charles Lieber’s secret association with the Chinese institutes and universities and his expertise in nanotechnology could pose a serious threat. Lieber lied about his involvement with the Thousand Talents Plan and affiliation with the Wuhan Institute of Technology and that makes him no less than a Chinese biowarfare agent.
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