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Breeding Bio InsecurityHow U.S. Biodefense Is Exporting Fear, Globalizing Risk, and Making Us All Less Secure$
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Lynn C. Klotz and Edward J. Sylvester

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226444055

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226444079.001.0001

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Dangerous Acquaintances

Dangerous Acquaintances

Chapter:
(p.109) Chapter Six Dangerous Acquaintances
Source:
Breeding Bio Insecurity
Author(s):

Lynn C. Klotz

Edward J. Sylvester

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226444079.003.0006

The easiest way for terrorists to cause massive panic and death with bioweapons would be to place one graduate student in one of the hundreds of university labs in the BSL-3 or BSL-4 category to replicate on a larger scale what someone has already created. The Council for Responsible Genetics counted more than seventy accidents relating to work with dangerous pathogens from 2002 into 2007. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has identified more than a dozen bioactivities that are dangerous; some activities are justified and some are not. Only scientists expert in the molecular biology of pathogens are in a position to have a meaningful discussion of the particulars of a specific experiment. One should have mandatory intensive oversight of dangerous lab activities before they begin. Thus, decisions cannot be left to the scientists conducting the research and their institutional biosafety committees alone.

Keywords:   bioweapons, BSL-3 category, BSL-4 category, pathogens, bioactivities, molecular biology, institutional biosafety committees

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