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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Devils We've Known

Devils We've Known

(p.59) Chapter Four Devils We've Known
Breeding Bio Insecurity

Lynn C. Klotz

Edward J. Sylvester

University of Chicago Press

A team of scientists zealously toiled to weaponize the world's deadliest bacterial toxin to deploy against its own civilian population. The killer to be delivered was botulinum toxin, the cause of botulism, which has the ominous distinction of being the most known poisonous substance. Botulin was not the only murder weapon they worked on; that same month, the cult released anthrax spores from its midrise Tokyo office building, which housed its laboratory. In addition to botulin, cult scientists experimented with anthrax, cholera, and Q fever, another barnyard bacteria, which caused illness that is rarely fatal in humans. In their native form, the bacteria and viruses discussed as death agents are virtually no public health threat in developed nations. But if some of these agents can somehow be weaponized as aerosols they could cause a large number of casualties.

Keywords:   bacterial toxin, botulinum, botulism, botulin, anthrax spores, cholera, Q fever

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