Major advances in technology often stir opposition, and as Nature reports, nanotechnology is no exception: an eco-anarchist group known as Individuals Tending Towards Savagery (ITS) has been responsible for several bombings at prominent nanotechnology universities in Mexico over the past two years. The group reportedly looks to prevent "nanocontamination" and agrees with author Derrik Jensen's view that "industrial civilization is responsible for environmental destruction and must be dismantled." Nanotechnology concerns are a global issue — in 2010 another group attempted to bomb IBM's nanotechnology lab in Switzerland — but Nature explores why Mexico appears to be the epicenter of the violence.
Mexico began investing heavily in nanotechnology in 2002 in an attempt to develop the country's economy, and Nature speculates that concern over the environmental and health impacts of nanotechnology combined with growing violence and political upheaval in the country may have lead to the inception of groups like the ITS. Nature says that while other environmental activist groups like the Canada-based ETC condemn the violence, they're worried about even more elaborate consequences, like a future in which "the merger of living and non-living matter will result in hybrid organisms and products that are not easy to control." Regardless of whether the violence continues to spread, universities have instituted new stringent security measures to combat the attacks, and researchers told Nature that they will not be discouraged from their work.