Biological Weapons and Genetic Science
This is the core page for the Bioweapons thinking.
The trigger for this thinking was an article in the New Scientist which outlined the consequences of a single point outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. The consequences were enormous, and no-one was trying to spread the disease - just the opposite. (see Potential Effects for more information on this thought.).
Should someone be determined to spread an infective agent, whether to infect humans, animals or plants, the human, social, and economic effect would be incredible. The 1972 Biological weapons convention is still awaiting ratification. The problem at the moment is that the new President Bush doesn't want the stringent inspection proposals that would make it effective.
Attending a Genewatch Conference changed my thinking in two ways.
Such agents are genetically engineered, and no evaluation of the environmental implications of using such agents has been carried out in the public arena.
Gene Watch Conference
"Biological Weapons and the New Genetics - avoiding the
Friday 18th May 2001
Section 1: Biological Weapons and the
a) Brief History: Dr. Brian Balmer UCL
b) The Potential for abuse: Drs. Simon Whitby & Piers D. Millett
c) Response: Prof. Peter Biggs
d) Discussion chaired:Dr. Sue Mayer
Section 2: Verification
a) Whats needed: Dr. Oliver Meier
b) Response: Dr. David Kelly
c) Discussion chaired by: Dr. Alistair Hay
Section 3: The Biological
and Toxin Weapons Convention
a) Present status of the protocol to the BWTC: Dr Daniel Feakes (co authored with Jez Littlewood)
b) Response: Dr. Jeff Kipling
c) Discussion Chaired by: Prof. Julian Perry Robinson
Section 4: Additional
Measures for Security
a) Beyond the protocol: Jan van Aken
b) What can the scientific and Medical Communities do?; Dr. Alistair Hay
c) Discussion chaired by Dr. Sue Mayer
Summing up by Prof. Julian Perry Robinson