TECHNOLOGIES: Genetic Engineering and Biological Weapons
Emerging diseases are often discussed as a global public health threat but the threat of these diseases is paralleled by another—emerging technologies. Rapid developments in biotechnology, genetics and genomics pose a variety of environmental, ethical, political, and social questions.
The revolution in biotechnology has lead to dramatically increased biowarfare risks and governments have achieved little in reining in these risks. Whereas thirty years ago, biotechnology was restricted to a small number of advanced research laboratories, today it is ubiquitous.
Completely new types of weapons are becoming possible, including the use of food crops as tools for biological warfare. Even ethnically specific weapons, hitherto thought to be impossible, have become a real possibility. Data is presented here showing that ethnic specific genetic sequences do exist in considerable high numbers.
The most frightening developments can currently be witnessed in the US, where new technology is being exploited to create new types of biological and biochemical weapons, including material degrading microorganisms and psychoactive chemicals, raising the spectre of a new biological and chemical arms race.
This report gives a systematic overview of the impact of bio-technology on biological weapons development, focusing on existing technologies and recent discoveries which have implications that are still poorly understood.
Many of the examples presented may sound like science fiction, but they are in fact far more science than fiction—and in some cases they are already a reality. Others are hypothetical in the sense that they have not, to our knowledge, been utilised for hostile purposes, but the science behind them is very real.
This report also highlights the broad array of political measures and concrete steps which governments will need to take to counter the threat of the hostile exploitation of biotechnology.
2 Single Gene Transfer and Similar Genetic Engineering of BW Agents
3 Emerging Technologies I: Novel Infectious Agents
4 Emerging Technologies II: Synthesis of Biowarfare Agents
Another route to smallpox
Recreating the Spanish flu
5 Emerging Technologies III: Types of Weapons
6 Ethnic Specific Biological Weapons
Techniques to translate genetic sequence into a weapons effect
Ethnic specific genetic markets
7 Conclusions and Recommendations