HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Biological warfare: an emerging threat in the 21st century

Why is biophysicist Steven Block so concerned about smallpox?

After all, more than 20 years have passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the eradication of this highly contagious and incurable disease.

``Simply put, smallpox represents a direct threat to the entire world,`` says Block, a professor of biological sciences and applied physics at Stanford.

He points out that, although the disease has been eliminated in the wild, frozen stocks of smallpox virus are still maintained by the governments of the United States and Russia.

If rogue politicians or terrorists were to get hold of the remaining supplies, ``the consequences could be disastrous,`` he warns.

But Block is haunted by more than the threat of a smallpox attack.

He points to some two dozen conventional biological agents - including anthrax, Ebola and typhus - plus an unknown number of genetically engineered organisms that terrorists could unleash on an unsuspecting public.

``We`re tempted to say that nobody in their right mind would ever use these things,`` he says, ``but not everybody is in their right mind!``

Block paints a disturbing picture of the international bioterrorist threat in an article published in the Jan./Feb. issue of American Scientist magazine.

His expertise in biological warfare stems from his work with JASON, an organization of primarily academic scientists who dedicate a portion of their time to solving national security problems. Members of JASON often serve as consultants to the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies

``In my opinion,`` he writes, ``the terrorist threat is very real, and it`s about to get worse.``

Block argues that the United States and other developed countries should be doing more to prevent the spread of biological weaponry, which he calls ``a serious threat to peace in the twenty-first century.``

He saves his harshest criticism for his fellow biologists, most of whom have remained silent on the issue
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
11-Jan-2001


Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Related biology news :

1. Biological oceanographers examine regime shifts in complex marine ecosystems
2. Biological computer diagnoses cancer and produces drug in a test tube
3. Biological cause of one form of blindness identified by SLU researchers
4. Biological trick reveals key step in melatonins regulation
5. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences to offer forum
6. Biological clock more influenced by temperature than light
7. Systematics at a Crossroads: Biological and Philosophical Arguments
8. Biological and chemical agents in terrorism examined at AAN Annual Meeting
9. Biological Challenges to Humanity: Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens
10. Biological evidence can persuade people to change unhealthy habits
11. Biological clock gene in bees found to have another function

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Litmus Health , the research-ready ... of the company’s security practices has been completed. The assessment deemed Litmus infrastructure ... evaluation reviewed Litmus’ processes and systems, assessing them to see whether they adhere ...
(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... Catalent, the leading global ... and gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that two Catalent Biologics ... Expo, taking place between Aug. 31 – September 4, 2020. , On Wednesday, ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... ... August 18, 2020 , ... Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., a clinical-stage ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) ... severe COVID-19. Approval of this IND allows Sentien to initiate a Phase 1/2 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), ... membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. Awarded Vendor ... seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without the delay ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 , ... The ... the launch of Safe Space™ for businesses of all types to ensure cleanliness, distancing ... LiDAR. , A Safe Space™ enabled business will provide a health performance ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... photodynamic therapy for treating cancer, today announced the company has entered a license ... The agreement provides Lumeda globally exclusive rights to Roswell Park intellectual property ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... unique lab-made bioresearch materials, today announced the availability of the Delta-G-VSV Pseudotyping System ... University of Tennessee, enables studies of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: