Breeding Bio Insecurity: How U.S. Biodefense Is Exporting by Lynn C. Klotz

By Lynn C. Klotz

Within the years because the Sept. 11 attacks—and the following deadly anthrax letters—the usa has spent billions of greenbacks on measures to shield the inhabitants opposed to the specter of organic guns. yet as Lynn C. Klotz and Edward J. Sylvester argue forcefully in Breeding Bio lack of confidence, all that money and energy hasn’t made us any safer—in truth, it has made us extra vulnerable. Breeding Bio lack of confidence unearths the error made up to now and lays out the mandatory steps to set us at the course towards precise biosecurity. the elemental challenge with the present procedure, based on the authors, is the chance because of the sheer dimension and secrecy of our biodefense attempt. millions of scientists unfold all through thousands of destinations are actually operating with deadly bioweapons agents—but their lack of ability to make their paintings public motives suspicion between our enemies and allies alike, whilst the large variety of laboratories drastically multiplies the inherent danger of lethal injuries or robbery. in the meantime, very important public future health wishes move unmet due to this new biodefense concentration. precise biosecurity, the authors argue, would require a multipronged attempt established in an realizing of the complexity of the difficulty, guided by way of medical ethics, and watched over through a vigilant citizenry aware of the adaptation among worry mongering and precise research of risk. An impassioned caution that by no means loses sight of political and clinical fact, Breeding Bio lack of confidence is an important first step towards assembly the evolving threats of the twenty-first century.

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Extra info for Breeding Bio Insecurity: How U.S. Biodefense Is Exporting Fear, Globalizing Risk, and Making Us All Less Secure

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Pharmaceutical companies are the biggest spenders on the knowledge pouring out of the new biology, because they are its biggest users. That’s one way they hedge their bets. Discovery and development represent two different phases in the process. The first phase: find a molecular target that is a key link in a disease process, then identify a leading drug candidate that will in some way interfere with its action. In the development phase, that lead candidate is taken first into preclinical trials in animals for safety and efficacy testing.

Would it not be more humane to flush out enemy combatants in order to capture rather than kill them? ”25 The framers of the CWC already had the answer to that argument, taken from recent American history. During the Vietnam War, tear gas was used to flush out enemy fighters in order to kill them, so the convention included a ban on tear gas and other such agents in warfare. But let’s focus on the use of “nonlethal” agents for a determinedly nonlethal purpose: complete incapacitation. That was the goal of Russian authorities in ending the Moscow theater siege by pumping in a mist purportedly containing fentanyl, a very commonly used hospital anesthetic and chronic-pain reliever.

However, that does not tap the beneficial potential of the toxin in medicine, and later we’ll look at the sound reasons for research to make botulin even more potent than it is in nature. Waiting in the Wings Some strategies of basic research and drug discovery and development could easily be turned toward bioweaponry with the technology already available. For example, one critical shield against bacterial weapons would be powerful antibiotics that could be administered either as a preventative or to eliminate existing infections.

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