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Our publications keep professionals working across the public, private, and academic sectors informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

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Preventing the Development and Use of Biological Weapons

Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Date posted:
March 01, 2009
Publication type:

Biosecur Bioterror 2009;7(1):31-32

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Free on publisher's website

Preventing the development and use of biological weapons should continue to be a top priority for the country. There are fundamental issues that make prevention a difficult challenge. The knowledge, materials, and technologies needed to make and use a biological weapon are readily accessible around the world. Pathogens are ubiquitous in nature and can be found in hospital and research laboratories, in culture collections, and in sick people and animals everywhere. The skills and equipment for making a biological weapon are the same as those required for progress in medicine, agriculture, and other fields, so they cannot be locked away. It is now possible to synthesize viruses from nonliving components, with technologies that are becoming cheaper and widespread. Efforts that might be useful in deterring state-sponsored biological weapons programs may have little or no effect in slowing the development of biological weapons by terrorist groups.



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