The New Biological Weapons: Threat, Proliferation, and Control

By Malcolm Dando | Go to book overview

3
Concerns About the
Misuses of Biotechnology

In early 1999 the British journal New Scientist carried a report from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Anaheim, California. Under the heading, “A Terrifying Power, ” it was reported that “[t]he world's first simple artificial life form could be constructed in the next few years” (1). But, the article went on to say, “the team leading the way have stopped work for the moment, fearing that their discovery might lead to the creation of the ultimate bioweapon in the shape of a synthetic 'superbug'” (1).

So just three decades after it was demonstrated that genetic engineering—the movement of functional genes between different species—was possible, it was being claimed that entirely artificial life could be created by biologists. This was no idle claim, as New Scientist explained, for the project to create an artificial life form was being carried out by Craig Venter and his colleagues at the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland; the group was responsible for describing the first complete deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence of a cellular organism, that of Haemophilus influenzae, in 1995. In later work, which compared the genomes (DNA sequences) of simple microorganisms, they had identified about 300 genes that appeared necessary for life. In theory at least, “they could now build an artificial chromosome carrying these genes and wrap it up in a membrane with a few proteins and other biochemicals to create a simple synthetic organism” (1).

The genomes of numerous human pathogens are also currently being worked out (2). It might therefore be possible to discover what makes them so dangerous to us and to transfer such characteristics into an artificial life form.

By way of a coincidence, also some three decades ago, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was agreed in the early 1970s. Its aim was to prevent the misuse of biology in the production of just such terrifying

-33-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The New Biological Weapons: Threat, Proliferation, and Control
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Tables & Figures vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Technological Change and Arms Control 1
  • References *
  • 2 - Operational Toxin and Bioregulatory Weapons 17
  • References *
  • 3 - Concerns About the Misuses of Biotechnology 33
  • References *
  • 4 - Toxins 45
  • References *
  • 5 - Bioregulatory Peptides 67
  • References *
  • 6 - Specificity: Receptors 87
  • References *
  • 7 - Agent Delivery 103
  • References *
  • 8 - Targets 117
  • References *
  • 9 - Can the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Be Strengthened? 133
  • References *
  • 10 - The Future of Arms Control 153
  • References *
  • Acronyms & Abbreviations 163
  • Further Reading 167
  • Index 169
  • About the Book 181
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 181

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.