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Biological and chemical weapons a threat to human existence

Although only a few countries are suspected of having biological weapons, rapidly producing and weaponizing biological agents is surprisingly easy. What's more, it's difficult to tell the difference between legitimate and harmful biological research.

Advances in the life sciences hold extraordinary promise for new treatments and cures for disease, but the same knowledge—and equipment—can be used to engineer deadly pathogens. Rapid advances in biotechnology mean that most countries with pharmaceutical and medical industries possess the knowledge and tools to develop biological weapons.

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What Are Biological Weapons? Biological weapons use microorganisms or natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals or plants.

To act as a weapon, pathogens need a means for transmission.

  1. Some people think the Earth would be better off without humans, and so on.
  2. Public health assessment of potential biological terrorism agents. The promise and perils of synthetic biology.
  3. In an age of terrorism biological weapons are perfectly suited for asymmetric warfare where the relatively low costs of producing such weapons combined with their potential for amplification through communicability have a disproportionately strong effect on targeted populations.

Delivery by bombs or missiles is possible but not necessary. For example, a country or a terrorist group might contaminate food and water supply or use insects, exposed individuals or aerosols to spread a pathogen.

Recently, diseases like Ebola have proven highly infectious, lethal and a challenge to contemporary medicine. What Countries Have Them?

  1. In an age of terrorism biological weapons are perfectly suited for asymmetric warfare where the relatively low costs of producing such weapons combined with their potential for amplification through communicability have a disproportionately strong effect on targeted populations.
  2. Consequently biodefence efforts are intimately linked to surveillance efforts for emerging infectious diseases and any defence strategy against biological weapons much consider the development of countermeasures against yet identified threats. For example, a country or a terrorist group might contaminate food and water supply or use insects, exposed individuals or aerosols to spread a pathogen.
  3. The danger of the proliferation of this class of weapons applies as much to the developing as it does to developed countries. In certain cases, biological warfare aimed at animals in order to disrupt meat, poultry and dairy production could have important ecological consequences.

Only 16 countries plus Taiwan have had or are currently suspected of having biological weapons programs: There is widespread consensus against the possession and use of biological weapons.

Bioterrorism Terrorist groups have already tried to use biological weapons. The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo unsuccessfully tried to weaponize botulinum toxin and anthrax in the mid-1990s. In the days after the September 11 attacks in the United States, a series of anthrax-laced letters sent to several news agencies and two U.

Senators killed five and sickened 17 others.

  • That would require clever design for this very purpose;
  • Pathogenic microbes can be divided into two general groups, those acquired from other host and those acquired from the environment;
  • If we assume one such event every 69 years and a one in three chance that it might go all the way to being nuclear war, the chance of such a catastrophe increases to about one in 200 per year;
  • Stone, metal, leather, wood, domesticated animals, wheels, etc.

Terrorists are drawn to biological weapons for their relative low cost, simple delivery and psychological impact. Weak Public Health Infrastructures Make Us Vulnerable The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa showed how vulnerable we are to infectious disease, how quickly it spreads, and how weak public health systems are in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The world saw firsthand how access to trained medical professionals, sterile equipment and basic medical facilities are a rare commodity in the developing world, enabling diseases to expand beyond what modern medical advances might suggest. Global travel makes the biological threat even more serious and highlights the need for a global approach to improve public health.

Spurred by the Ebola crisis, many countries took steps to improve global health security in order to monitor and respond to disease threats, but there is much more work to do.