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History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents (microbes and plants) as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms:

In the 20th century, sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents:

The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 15001200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic.[1] Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer’s epic poems about the legendary Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. During the First Sacred War in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic League poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (near Delphi) with the toxic plant hellebore.[2] During the 4th century BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, human blood, and animal feces to cause wounds to become infected.

In a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon in 184 BC, Hannibal of Carthage had clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.[3] The Roman commander Manius Aquillius poisoned the wells of besieged enemy cities in about 130 BC. In about AD 198, the Parthian city of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman army led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.[4]

There are numerous other instances of the use of plant toxins, venoms, and other poisonous substances to create biological weapons in antiquity.[5]

The Mongol Empire established commercial and political connections between the Eastern and Western areas of the world, through the most mobile army ever seen. The armies, composed of the most rapidly moving travelers who had ever moved between the steppes of East Asia (where bubonic plague was and remains endemic among small rodents), managed to keep the chain of infection without a break until they reached, and infected, peoples and rodents who had never encountered it. The ensuing Black Death may have killed up to 25 million in China and roughly a third of the population of Europe and in the next decades, changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.[6][7]

At the siege of Thun-l’vque in 1340, during the Hundred Years’ War, the attackers catapulted decomposing animals into the besieged area.[8]

In 1422, during the siege of Karlstein Castle in Bohemia, Hussite attackers used catapults to throw dead (but not plague-infected) bodies and 2000 carriage-loads of dung over the walls.[9]

The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked the Swedes by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn).[10] However, during the 1785 siege of La Calle, Tunisian forces flung diseased clothing into the city.[9]

English Longbowmen usually did not draw their arrows from a quiver; rather, they stuck their arrows into the ground in front of them. This allowed them to nock the arrows faster and the dirt and soil was likely to stick to the arrowheads, thus making the wounds much more likely to become infected.

Two instances of documents discussing the use of biological disease by the British against North American Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion (176366) have been examined by historians, but the actual effectiveness is unknown.[11][12] In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief enclosed in small metal boxes that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege.[13] William Trent, the militia commander, sent a bill to the British Army indicating that the purpose of giving the blankets was “to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians.” The invoice’s approval confirms that the British command endorsed Ecuyer actions.[14][15]

British commander Lord Jeffery Amherst and Swiss-British officer Colonel Henry Bouquet discussed the topic separately in the course of the same conflict; there exists correspondence referencing the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to enemy natives. Four letters are cited from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Amherst wrote on July 16, 1763, “P.S. You will Do well to try to Inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect,…” Bouquet replied on July 26, 1763, “I received yesterday your Excellency’s letters of 16th with their Inclosures. The signal for Indian Messengers, and all your directions will be observed.” Smallpox was highly contagious among the Native Americans, and together with measles, influenza, chicken pox, and other Old World diseases was a major cause of death since the arrival of Europeans and their animals. Trade and combat also provided ample opportunity for transmission of the disease. Though the 176364 smallpox outbreak weakened the native’s resistance to Bouquet’s campaign in Muskingum Valley, it is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[16] It is estimated that between 400,000500,000 Native American individuals during and after the war died from smallpox.[not in citation given][17][18][19]

Australian aborigines (Kooris) have always maintained that the British deliberately spread smallpox in 1789,[20] but this possibility has only been raised by historians from the 1980s when Dr Noel Butlin suggested; there are some possibilities that … disease could have been used deliberately as an exterminating agent.[21]

In 1997, David Day claimed there remains considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that officers other than Phillip, or perhaps convicts or soldiers deliberately spread smallpox among aborigines[22] and in 2000 Dr John Lambert argued that strong circumstantial evidence suggests the smallpox epidemic which ravaged Aborigines in 1789, may have resulted from deliberate infection.[23]

Judy Campbell argued in 2002 that it is highly improbable that the First Fleet was the source of the epidemic as “smallpox had not occurred in any members of the First Fleet”; the only possible source of infection from the Fleet being exposure to variolous matter imported for the purposes of inoculation against smallpox. Campbell argued that, while there has been considerable speculation about a hypothetical exposure to the First Fleet’s variolous matter, there was no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever actually exposed to it. She pointed to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was always present, and Aboriginal people in Australia’s North as a more likely source for the introduction of smallpox. She notes that while these fishermen are generally referred to as Macassans, referring to the port of Macassar on the island of Sulawesi from which most of the fishermen originated, some travelled from islands as distant as New Guinea. She noted that there is little disagreement that the smallpox epidemic of the 1860s was contracted from Macassan fishermen and spread through the Aboriginal population by Aborigines fleeing outbreaks and also via their traditional social, kinship and trading networks. She argued that the 178990 epidemic followed the same pattern.[24]

These claims are controversial as it is argued that any smallpox virus brought to New South Wales probably would have been sterilised by heat and humidity encountered during the voyage of the First Fleet from England and incapable of biological warfare. However, in 2007, Christopher Warren demonstrated that the British smallpox may have been still viable.[25] Since then some scholars have argued that the British committed biological warfare in 1789 near their new convict settlement at Port Jackson.[26][27]

In 2013 Warren reviewed the issue and argued that smallpox did not spread across Australia before 1824 and showed that there was no smallpox at Macassar that could have caused the outbreak at Sydney. Warren, however, did not address the issue of persons who joined the Macassan fleet from other islands and from parts of Sulawesi other than the port of Macassar. Warren concluded that the British were “the most likely candidates to have released smallpox” near Sydney Cove in 1789. Warren proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets. Warren also uses native oral tradition and the archaeology of native graves to analyse the cause and effect of the spread of smallpox in 1789.[28]

Prior to the publication of Warren’s article (2013), John Carmody argued that the epidemic was an outbreak of chickenpox which took a drastic toll on an Aboriginal population without immunological resistance. With regard to smallpox, Dr Carmody said: “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the theories and some of them are fanciful and far-fetched..” [29][30] Warren covered the chickenpox theory at endnote 3 of Smallpox at Sydney Cove Who, When, Why?.[31]

By the turn of the 20th century, advances in microbiology had made thinking about “germ warfare” part of the zeitgeist. Jack London, in his short story ‘”Yah! Yah! Yah!”‘ (1909), described a punitive European expedition to a South Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian population to measles, of which many of them died. London wrote another science fiction tale the following year, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), in which the Western nations wipe out all of China with a biological attack.

During the First World War (19141918), the Empire of Germany made some early attempts at anti-agriculture biological warfare. Those attempts were made by special sabotage group headed by Rudolf Nadolny. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German General Staff supplied small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the United States, and Argentina.[citation needed] In Finland, saboteurs mounted on reindeer placed ampoules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916.[32] Anthrax was also supplied to the German military attach in Bucharest, as was glanders, which was employed against livestock destined for Allied service. German intelligence officer and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger established a secret lab in the basement of his sister’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced glanders which was used to infect livestock in ports and inland collection points including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York City, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German agents also employed glanders in the port of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin wheat harvests with a destructive fungus.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons, but said nothing about experimentation, production, storage, or transfer; later treaties did cover these aspects. Twentieth-century advances in microbiology enabled the first pure-culture biological agents to be developed by World War II.

In the interwar period, little research was done in biological warfare in both Britain and the United States at first. In the United Kingdom the preoccupation was mainly in withstanding the anticipated conventional bombing attacks that would be unleashed in the event of war with Germany. As tensions increased, Sir Frederick Banting began lobbying the British government to establish a research program into the research and development of biological weapons to effectively deter the Germans from launching a biological attack. Banting proposed a number of innovative schemes for the dissemination of pathogens, including aerial-spray attacks and germs distributed through the mail system.

With the onset of hostilities, the Ministry of Supply finally established a biological weapons programme at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests, was contaminated with anthrax for the next 48 years. Although Britain never offensively used the biological weapons it developed, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[33] Other nations, notably France and Japan, had begun their own biological-weapons programs.[34]

When the United States entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[35] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[36]

However, the most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[37] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns. Three veterans of Unit 731 testified in a 1989 interview to the Asahi Shimbun that they contaminated the Horustein river with typhoid near the Soviet troops during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.[38] In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[39] A film showing this operation was seen by the imperial princes Tsuneyoshi Takeda and Takahito Mikasa during a screening made by mastermind Shiro Ishii.[40] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that as early as 1941 some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[41]

Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, using disease-bearing insects rather than dispersing the agent as a bioaerosol cloud.[37] Nevertheless, some modern Chinese historians estimate that 400,000 Chinese died as a direct result of Japanese field testing and operational use of biological weapons.[42]

Ban Shigeo, a technician at the Japanese Army’s 9th Technical Research Institute, left an account of the activities at the Institute which was published in “The Truth About the Army Nororito Institute”.[43] Ban included an account of his trip to Nanking in 1941 to participate in the testing of poisons on Chinese prisoners.[43] His testimony tied the Noborito Institute to the infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research.[43]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to utilize plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. They hope that it would kill tens of thousands of U.S. civilians and thereby dissuading America from attacking Japan. The plan was set to launch on September 22, 1945, at night, but it never came into fruition due to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.[44][45][46][47]

When the war ended, the US Army quietly enlisted certain members of Noborito in its efforts against the communist camp in the early years of the Cold War.[43] The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii, was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for providing information to the United States on the Unit’s activities.[48] Allegations were made that a “chemical section” of a US clandestine unit hidden within Yokosuka naval base was operational during the Korean War, and then worked on unspecified projects inside the United States from 1955 to 1959, before returning to Japan to enter the private sector.[43][49]

Some of the Unit 731 personnel were imprisoned by the Soviets[citation needed], and may have been a potential source of information on Japanese weaponization.

Considerable research into BW was undertaken throughout the Cold War era by the US, UK and USSR, and probably other major nations as well, although it is generally believed that such weapons were never used.

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses. Trial tests at sea were carried out including Operation Cauldron off Stornoway in 1952. The programme was cancelled in 1956, when the British government unilaterally renounced the use of biological and chemical weapons.

The United States initiated its weaponization efforts with disease vectors in 1953, focused on Plague-fleas, EEE-mosquitoes, and yellow fever mosquitoes (OJ-AP).[citation needed] However, US medical scientists in occupied Japan undertook extensive research on insect vectors, with the assistance of former Unit 731 staff, as early as 1946.[48]

The United States Army Chemical Corps then initiated a crash program to weaponize anthrax (N) in the E61 1/2-lb hour-glass bomblet. Though the program was successful in meeting its development goals, the lack of validation on the infectivity of anthrax stalled standardization.[citation needed] The United States Air Force was also unsatisfied with the operational qualities of the M114/US bursting bomblet and labeled it an interim item until the Chemical Corps could deliver a superior weapon.[citation needed]

Around 1950 the Chemical Corps also initiated a program to weaponize tularemia (UL). Shortly after the E61/N failed to make standardization, tularemia was standardized in the 3.4″ M143 bursting spherical bomblet. This was intended for delivery by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile warhead and could produce 50% infection over a 7-square-mile (18km2) area.[50] Although tularemia is treatable by antibiotics, treatment does not shorten the course of the disease. US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subjects for tularemia in a program known as Operation Whitecoat.[51] There were also many unpublicized tests carried out in public places with bio-agent simulants during the Cold War.[52]

In addition to the use of bursting bomblets for creating biological aerosols, the Chemical Corps started investigating aerosol-generating bomblets in the 1950s. The E99 was the first workable design, but was too complex to be manufactured. By the late 1950s the 4.5″ E120 spraying spherical bomblet was developed; a B-47 bomber with a SUU-24/A dispenser could infect 50% or more of the population of a 16-square-mile (41km2) area with tularemia with the E120.[53] The E120 was later superseded by dry-type agents.

Dry-type biologicals resemble talcum powder, and can be disseminated as aerosols using gas expulsion devices instead of a burster or complex sprayer.[citation needed] The Chemical Corps developed Flettner rotor bomblets and later triangular bomblets for wider coverage due to improved glide angles over Magnus-lift spherical bomblets.[54] Weapons of this type were in advanced development by the time the program ended.[54]

From January 1962, Rocky Mountain Arsenal grew, purified and biodemilitarized plant pathogen Wheat Stem Rust (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, for the Air Force biological anti-crop program. TX-treated grain was grown at the Arsenal from 19621968 in Sections 2326. Unprocessed TX was also transported from Beale AFB for purification, storage, and disposal.[55] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is a toxin that can be extracted from Wheat Stem Rust and Rice Blast and can kill or incapacitate depending on the concentration used. The red mold disease of wheat and barley in Japan is prevalent in the region that faces the Pacific Ocean. Toxic trichothecenes, including nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, and monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) from Fusarium nivale, can be isolated from moldy grains. In the suburbs of Tokyo, an illness similar to red mold disease was described in an outbreak of a food borne disease, as a result of the consumption of Fusarium- infected rice. Ingestion of moldy grains that are contaminated with trichothecenes has been associated with mycotoxicosis.[56]

Although there is no evidence that biological weapons were used by the United States, China and North Korea accused the US of large-scale field testing of BW against them during the Korean War (19501953). At the time of the Korean War the United States had only weaponized one agent, brucellosis (“Agent US”), which is caused by Brucella suis. The original weaponized form used the M114 bursting bomblet in M33 cluster bombs. While the specific form of the biological bomb was classified until some years after the Korean War, in the various exhibits of biological weapons that Korea alleged were dropped on their country nothing resembled an M114 bomblet. There were ceramic containers that had some similarity to Japanese weapons used against the Chinese in World War II, developed by Unit 731.[37][57]

Cuba also accused the United States of spreading human and animal disease on their island nation.[58][59]

During the 1948 Israel War of Independence, International Red Cross reports raised suspicion that the Israeli Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacteria into the water supply for the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid among the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later claimed to have captured disguised Haganah soldiers near wells in Gaza, whom they executed for allegedly attempting another attack. Israel denies these allegations.[60][61]

In mid-1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, which would lead to the signing of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972. United States President Richard Nixon signed an executive order on November 1969, which stopped production of biological weapons in the United States and allowed only scientific research of lethal biological agents and defensive measures such as immunization and biosafety. The biological munition stockpiles were destroyed, and approximately 2,200 researchers became redundant.[62]

Special munitions for the United States Special Forces and the CIA and the Big Five Weapons for the military were destroyed in accordance with Nixon’s executive order to end the offensive program. The CIA maintained its collection of biologicals well into 1975 when it became the subject of the senate Church Committee.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. The convention bound its signatories to a far more stringent set of regulations than had been envisioned by the 1925 Geneva Protocols. By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty; however it is believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

The Soviet Union continued research and production of offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site.[63] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic.[64]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to use chemical and biological warfare agents. Watercourses at several sites inside the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. The Rhodesians also experimented with several other pathogens and toxins for use in their counterinsurgency.[65]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons; the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation,[66] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage.[67]

According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 8 countries were generally reported as having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs in 1995: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Taiwan. Five countries had admitted to having had offensive weapon or development programs in the past: United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[68] Offensive BW programs in Iraq were dismantled by Coalition Forces and the UN after the first Gulf War (199091), although an Iraqi military BW program was covertly maintained in defiance of international agreements until it was apparently abandoned during 1995 and 1996.[69]

On September 18, 2001 and for a few days thereafter, several letters were received by members of the U.S. Congress and American media outlets which contained intentionally prepared anthrax spores; the attack sickened at least 22 people of whom five died. The identity of the bioterrorist remained unknown until 2008, when an official suspect, who had committed suicide, was named. (See 2001 anthrax attacks.)

Suspicions of an ongoing Iraqi biological warfare program were not substantiated in the wake of the March 2003 invasion of that country. Later that year, however, Muammar Gaddafi was persuaded to terminate Libya’s biological warfare program. In 2008, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Taiwan are considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability.[70] By 2011, 165 countries had officially joined the BWC and pledged to disavow biological weapons.[71]

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History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

Germ Warfare | Recess Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Germ WarfareSeasonEpisode Number0436Air Date

February 29, 2000

“Germ Warfare” is the thirty sixth episode of the fourth season of Recess, which was first broadcast on February 29, 2000.

Gus and Mikey are at war after Gretchen catches a cold.

The Gang is in science class where they witness the binary fission of a bacterium. Gus is horrified when he finds out that bacteria and germs are the same thing, and believes that all germs can cause decay and disease. Mikey begs to differ, saying that bacteria and germs are living creatures and even gives each germ an individual name. As Mikeyis about to release the germs, Gretchen makes the problem worse by informing Gus that germs are everywhere, causing him to run out of the classroom in a panic.

In the boys’ room, the paranoid Gus is shown cleaning himself. At Recess, he shows up wearing a biohazard suit protecting him from germs. T.J. now realizes that Gus is overreacting, as Gretchen tries to clear up a few misconceptions, before suddenly starting to feel ill; she has caught a cold. It serves as a big deal to Gus who is convinced that the germs made her sick.

Gus is wandering round the playground in his suit, spreading the word about germs and frightening the Ashleys, when Menlo arrives, agreeing to help Gus in his anti-germ campaign, and putting on his own biohazard suit.

Gus holds a meeting in the playground discussing the dangers of germs, which Mikey observes atopOld Rusty. With nearly all the students joining Gus’ campaign, Mikey decides to speak out for germs, but is jeered at by the students. Soon enough, they are cleaning up the playground and donning masks and surgical gloves, and a couple of tanker trucks arrive to disinfect the area of germs. Mikey decides to protest by holding up degermification, and refuses to budge. This only leads to a furious tussle between the two, which results in Mikey dropping his slide and breaking it. Believing that Gus killed the germs, Mikey becomes furious with him and the two start a big fight, which continues for some time until Gretchen arrives, having recovered from her cold.

Gretchen rekindles Gus and Mikey’s friendship by saying that germs are neither good nor bad and they are just a part of life. Gus and Mikey both make up for earlier, and Gus happily re-opens the playground.

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Germ Warfare | Recess Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits – The New …

Two other projects completed during the Clinton administration focused on the mechanics of making germ weapons.

In a program code-named Clear Vision, the Central Intelligence Agency built and tested a model of a Soviet-designed germ bomb that agency officials feared was being sold on the international market. The C.I.A. device lacked a fuse and other parts that would make it a working bomb, intelligence officials said.

At about the same time, Pentagon experts assembled a germ factory in the Nevada desert from commercially available materials. Pentagon officials said the project demonstrated the ease with which a terrorist or rogue nation could build a plant that could produce pounds of the deadly germs.

Both the mock bomb and the factory were tested with simulants — benign substances with characteristics similar to the germs used in weapons, officials said.

A senior Bush administration official said all the projects were ”fully consistent” with the treaty banning biological weapons and were needed to protect Americans against a growing danger. ”This administration will pursue defenses against the full spectrum of biological threats,” the official said.

The treaty, another administration official said, allows the United States to conduct research on both microbes and germ munitions for ”protective or defensive purposes.”

Some Clinton administration officials worried, however, that the project violated the pact. And others expressed concern that the experiments, if disclosed, might be misunderstood as a clandestine effort to resume work on a class of weapons that President Nixon had relinquished in 1969.

Simultaneous experiments involving a model of a germ bomb, a factory to make biological agents and the developoment of more potent anthrax, these officials said, would draw vociferous protests from Washington if conducted by a country the United States viewed as suspect.

Administration officials said the need to keep such projects secret was a significant reason behind President Bush’s recent rejection of a draft agreement to strengthen the germ-weapons treaty, which has been signed by 143 nations.

The draft would require those countries to disclose where they are conducting defensive research involving gene-splicing or germs likely to be used in weapons. The sites would then be subject to international inspections.

Many national security officials in both the Clinton and Bush administrations opposed the draft, arguing that it would give potential adversaries a road map to what the United States considers its most serious vulnerabilities.

Among the facilities likely to be open to inspection under the draft agreement would be the West Jefferson, Ohio, laboratory of the Battelle Memorial Institute, a military contractor that has been selected to create the genetically altered anthrax.

Several officials who served in senior posts in the Clinton administration acknowledged that the secretive efforts were so poorly coordinated that even the White House was unaware of their full scope.

The Pentagon’s project to build a germ factory was not reported to the White House, they said. President Clinton, who developed an intense interest in germ weapons, was never briefed on the programs under way or contemplated, the officials said.

A former senior official in the Clinton White House conceded that in retrospect, someone should have been responsible for reviewing the projects to ensure that they were not only effective in defending the United States, but consistent with the nation’s arms-control pledges.

The C.I.A.’s tests on the bomb model touched off a dispute among government experts after the tests were concluded in 2000, with some officials arguing that they violated the germ treaty’s prohibition against developing weapons.

Intelligence officials said lawyers at the agency and the White House concluded that the work was defensive, and therefore allowed. But even officials who supported the effort acknowledged that it brought the United States closer to what was forbidden.

”It was pressing how far you go before you do something illegal or immoral,” recalled one senior official who was briefed on the program.

Public disclosure of the research is likely to complicate the position of the United States, which has long been in the forefront of efforts to enforce the ban on germ weapons.

The Bush administration’s willingness to abandon the 1972 Antiballistic Missile treaty has already drawn criticism around the world. And the administration’s stance on the draft agreement for the germ treaty has put Washington at odds with many of its allies, including Japan and Britain.

The Original Treaty

During the cold war, both the United States and the Soviet Union produced vast quantities of germ weapons, enough to kill everyone on earth.

Eager to halt the spread of what many called the poor man’s atom bomb, the United States unilaterally gave up germ arms and helped lead the global campaign to abolish them. By 1975, most of the world’s nations had signed the convention.

In doing so, they agreed not to develop, produce, acquire or stockpile quantities or types of germs that had no ”prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.” They also pledged not to develop or obtain weapons or other equipment ”designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”

There were at least two significant loopholes: The pact did not define ”defensive” research or say what studies might be prohibited, if any. And it provided no means of catching cheaters.

In the following decades, several countries did cheat, some on a huge scale. The Soviet Union built entire cities devoted to developing germ weapons, employing tens of thousands of people and turning anthrax, smallpox and bubonic plague into weapons of war. In the late 1980’s, Iraq began a crash program to produce its own germ arsenal.

Both countries insisted that their programs were for defensive purposes.

American intelligence officials had suspected that Baghdad and Moscow were clandestinely producing germ weapons. But the full picture of their efforts did not become clear until the 1990’s, after several Iraqi and Soviet officials defected.

Fears about the spread of biological weapons were deepened by the rise of terrorism against Americans, the great strides in genetic engineering and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left thousands of scientists skilled in biological warfare unemployed, penniless and vulnerable to recruitment.

The threat disclosed a quandary: While the United States spent billions of dollars a year to assess enemy military forces and to defend against bullets, tanks, bombs and jet fighters, it knew relatively little about the working of exotic arms it had relinquished long ago.

Designing a Delivery System

In the mid-1990’s, the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies stepped up their search for information about other nations’ biological research programs, focusing on the former Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq and Libya, among others. Much of the initial emphasis was on the germs that enemies might use in an attack, officials said.

But in 1997, the agency embarked on Clear Vision, which focused on weapons systems that would deliver the germs.

Intelligence officials said the project was led by Gene Johnson, a senior C.I.A. scientist who had long worked with some of the world’s deadliest viruses. Dr. Johnson was eager to understand the damage that Soviet miniature bombs — bomblets, in military parlance — might inflict.

The agency asked its spies to find or buy a Soviet bomblet, which releases germs in a fine mist. That search proved unsuccessful, and the agency approved a proposal to build a replica and study how well it could disperse its lethal cargo.

The agency’s lawyers concluded that such a project was permitted by the treaty because the intent was defensive. Intelligence officials said the C.I.A. had reports that at least one nation was trying to buy the Soviet-made bomblets.

A model was constructed and the agency conducted two sets of tests at Battelle, the military contractor. The experiments measured dissemination characteristics and how the model performed under different atmospheric conditions, intelligence officials said. They emphasized that the device was a ”portion” of a bomb that could not have been used as a weapon.

The experiments caused concern at the White House, which learned about the project after it was under way. Some aides to President Clinton worried that the benefits did not justify the risks. But a White House lawyer led a joint assessment by several departments that concluded that the program did not violate the treaty, and it went ahead.

The questions were debated anew after the project was completed, this time without consensus. A State Department official argued for a strict reading of the treaty: the ban on acquiring or developing ”weapons” barred states from building even a partial model of a germ bomb, no matter what the rationale.

”A bomb is a bomb is a bomb,” another official said at the time.

The C.I.A. continued to insist that it had the legal authority to conduct such tests and, intelligence officials said, the agency was prepared to reopen the fight over how to interpret the treaty. But even so, the agency ended the Clear Vision project in the last year of the Clinton administration, intelligence officials said.

Bill Harlow, the C.I.A. spokesman, acknowledged that the agency had conducted ”laboratory or experimental” work to assess the intelligence it had gathered about biological warfare.

”Everything we have done in this respect was entirely appropriate, necessary, consistent with U.S. treaty obligations and was briefed to the National Security Council staff and appropriate Congressional oversight committees,” Mr. Harlow said.

Breeding More Potent Anthrax

In the 1990’s, government officials also grew increasingly worried about the possibility that scientists could use the widely available techniques of gene-splicing to create even more deadly weapons.

Those concerns deepened in 1995, when Russian scientists disclosed at a scientific conference in Britain that they had implanted genes from Bacillus cereus, an organism that causes food poisoning, into the anthrax microbe.

The scientists said later that the experiments were peaceful; the two microbes can be found side-by-side in nature and, the Russians said, they wanted to see what happened if they cross-bred.

A published account of the experiment, which appeared in a scientific journal in late 1997, alarmed the Pentagon, which had just decided to require that American soldiers be vaccinated against anthrax. According to the article, the new strain was resistant to Russia’s anthrax vaccine, at least in hamsters.

American officials tried to obtain a sample from Russia through a scientific exchange program to see whether the Russians had really created such a hybrid. The Americans also wanted to test whether the microbe could defeat the American vaccine, which is different from that used by Russia.

Despite repeated promises, the bacteria were never provided.

Eventually the C.I.A. drew up plans to replicate the strain, but intelligence officials said the agency hesitated because there was no specific report that an adversary was attempting to turn the superbug into a weapon.

This year, officials said, the project was taken over by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm, the Defense Intelligence Agency. Pentagon lawyers reviewed the proposal and said it complied with the treaty. Officials said the research would be part of Project Jefferson, yet another government effort to track the dangers posed by germ weapons.

A spokesman for Defense Intelligence, Lt. Cmdr. James Brooks, declined comment. Asked about the precautions at Battelle, which is to create the enhanced anthrax, Commander Brooks said security was ”entirely suitable for all work already conducted and planned for Project Jefferson.”

The Question of Secrecy

While several officials in both the Clinton and Bush administrations called this and other research long overdue, they expressed concern about the lack of a central system for vetting such proposals.

And a former American diplomat questioned the wisdom of keeping them secret.

James F. Leonard, head of the delegation that negotiated the germ treaty, said research on microbes or munitions could be justified, depending on the specifics.

But he said such experiments should be done openly, exposed to the scrutiny of scientists and the public. Public disclosure, he said, is important evidence that the United States is proceeding with a ”clean heart.”

”It’s very important to be open,” he said. ”If we’re not open, who’s going to be open?”

Mr. Leonard said the fine distinctions drawn by government lawyers were frequently ignored when a secret program was exposed. Then, he said, others offer the harshest possible interpretations — a ”vulgarization of what has been done.”

But he concluded that the secret germ research, as described to him, was ”foolish, but not illegal.”

The authors have reported on biological weapons for The New York Times and based this article on material gathered for their book, ”Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War,” which is being published this month by Simon & Schuster Inc.

Link:

U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits – The New …

Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Biological warfare (BW)also known as germ warfareis the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons (often termed “bio-weapons”, “biological threat agents”, or “bio-agents”) are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses, which are not universally considered “alive”) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military initialism for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these is a conventional weapon, which are deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.

Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some of the chemical weapons, biological weapons may also be useful as area denial weapons. These agents may be lethal or non-lethal, and may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or even an entire population. They may be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.[1]

Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are often referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are typically characterized by shorter incubation periods.[2]

The use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law,[3] as well as a variety of international treaties.[4] The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime.[5]

Offensive biological warfare, including mass production, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The rationale behind this treaty, which has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013,[6] is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.[7] Many countries, including signatories of the BWC, currently pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, which is not prohibited by the BWC.

A nation or group that can pose a credible threat of mass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield.[8][9]

As a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore might not immediately stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets. This feature can be undesirable, as the agent(s) may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or even friendly forces. While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of virtually all nations.

Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity.[10] During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with a fungus that would render the enemy delirious. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of approximately 25 million Europeans.[11][12][13][14]

The British Army are alleged to have used smallpox against Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763.[15][16][17] An outbreak that left as many as one hundred Native Americans dead in Ohio Country was reported in 1764. The spread of the disease weakened the natives’ resistance to the British troops led by Henry Bouquet. It is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[18][19] It has been claimed that the British Marines used smallpox in New South Wales in 1789.[20]

By 1900 the germ theory and advances in bacteriology brought a new level of sophistication to the techniques for possible use of bio-agents in war. Biological sabotagein the form of anthrax and glanderswas undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government during World War I (19141918), with indifferent results.[21] The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons.[22]

With the onset of World War II, the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom established a BW program at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, was contaminated with anthrax during a series of extensive tests for the next 56 years. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[23] Other nations, notably France and Japan, had begun their own biological weapons programs.[24]

When the United States entered the war, Allied resources were pooled at the request of the British and the U.S. established a large research program and industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[25] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[26]

The most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[27] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns.[28] In 1940, the Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[29] Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems,[27] although up to 400,000 people may have died.[30] During the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in 1942, around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their own biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces.[31][32]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. The plan was set to launch on 22 September 1945, but it was not executed because of Japan’s surrender on 15 August 1945.[33][34][35][36]

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses, but the programme was unilaterally cancelled in 1956. The United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever and others.[37]

In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated production of biological weapons, allowing only scientific research for defensive measures. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. However, the Soviet Union continued research and production of massive offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention.[38] By 2011, 165 countries had signed the treaty and none are proventhough nine are still suspected[39]to possess offensive BW programs.[39]

Biological weapons are difficult to detect, economical and easy to use, making them appeal to the terrorists. The cost of a biological weapon is estimated to be about 0.05 percent the cost of a conventional weapon in order to produce similar numbers of mass casualties per kilometer square.[40] Moreover, their production is very easy as common technology can be used to produce biological warfare, like that used in production of vaccines, foods, spray devices, beverages and antibiotics. A major factor about biological warfare that attracts terrorists is that they can easily escape, before the government agencies or secret agencies have even started their investigation. This is because the potential organism has incubation period of 3 to 7 days, after which the results begin to appear, thereby giving the terrorists a lead.

A technique called Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) is now so cheap and widely available that scientists fear that the amateurs will start experimenting with them. In this technique, a DNA sequence is cut off and replaced with a new sequence or code that codes for a particular protein or characteristic, which could potentially show up in the required organism. Though this technique is a breakthrough and is commendable, it can cause serious issues and potential danger if used by people with wrong intentions. Concerns have emerged regarding Do-it-yourself biology research organizations due to their associated risk that a rogue amateur DIY researcher could attempt to develop dangerous bioweapons using genome editing technology.[41]

In 2002, when CNN went through Al-Qaeda’s (AQ’s) experiments with crude poisons, they found out that the AQ associated had begun planning ricin and cyanide attacks with the help of a loose association of cells.[42] The associates had infiltrated many countries like Turkey, Italy, Spain, France and others. In 2015, to combat the threat of bioterrorism, a National Blueprint for Biodefense was issued by the Blue-Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.[43] Also, 233 potential exposures of select biological agents outside of the primary barriers of the biocontainment in the US were described by the annual report of the Federal Select Agent Program.[44]

Though a verification system can reduce bioterrorism, an employee or a lone terrorist having adequate knowledge of the company plants, can cause potential danger by injecting a deadly or harmful substance into the plant. Moreover, it has been found that about 95% of accidents that have occurred due to low security have been done by employees or those who had security clearance.[45]

It has been argued that rational state actors would never use biological weapons offensively. The argument is that biological weapons cannot be controlled: the weapon could backfire and harm the army on the offensive, perhaps having even worse effects than on the target. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user’s home country. However, this argument does not necessarily apply to bacteria. For example, anthrax can easily be controlled and even created in a garden shed; the FBI suspects it can be done for as little as $2,500 using readily available laboratory equipment.[46] Also, using microbial methods, bacteria can be suitably modified to be effective in only a narrow environmental range, the range of the target that distinctly differs from the army on the offensive. Thus only the target might be affected adversely. The weapon may be further used to bog down an advancing army making them more vulnerable to counterattack by the defending force.

Ideal characteristics of a biological agent to be used as a weapon against humans are high infectivity, high virulence, non-availability of vaccines, and availability of an effective and efficient delivery system. Stability of the weaponized agent (ability of the agent to retain its infectivity and virulence after a prolonged period of storage) may also be desirable, particularly for military applications, and the ease of creating one is often considered. Control of the spread of the agent may be another desired characteristic.

The primary difficulty is not the production of the biological agent, as many biological agents used in weapons can often be manufactured relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. Rather, it is the weaponization, storage and delivery in an effective vehicle to a vulnerable target that pose significant problems.

For example, Bacillus anthracis is considered an effective agent for several reasons. First, it forms hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, this organism is not considered transmissible from person to person, and thus rarely if ever causes secondary infections. A pulmonary anthrax infection starts with ordinary influenza-like symptoms and progresses to a lethal hemorrhagic mediastinitis within 37 days, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher in untreated patients.[47] Finally, friendly personnel can be protected with suitable antibiotics.

Agents considered for weaponization, or known to be weaponized, include bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, some of the Rickettsiaceae (especially Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii), Shigella spp., Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia pestis. Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Marburg virus, Variola virus, and Yellow fever virus. Fungal agents that have been studied include Coccidioides spp..[48][49]

Toxins that can be used as weapons include ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, botulinum toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. These toxins and the organisms that produce them are sometimes referred to as select agents. In the United States, their possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Select Agent Program.

The former US biological warfare program categorized its weaponized anti-personnel bio-agents as either Lethal Agents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Botulinum toxin) or Incapacitating Agents (Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B).

Anti-crop/anti-vegetation/anti-fisheries;

The United States developed an anti-crop capability during the Cold War that used plant diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying enemy agriculture. Biological weapons also target fisheries as well as water-based vegetation. It was believed that destruction of enemy agriculture on a strategic scale could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in a general war. Diseases such as wheat blast and rice blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy watersheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among plants). When the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these plant diseases[50]. Enterotoxins and Mycotoxins were not affected by Nixon’s order.

Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with biological warfare and chemical warfare because they may work in a similar manner as biotoxins or bioregulators. The Army Biological Laboratory tested each agent and the Army’s Technical Escort Unit was responsible for transport of all chemical, biological, radiological (nuclear) materials. Scorched earth tactics or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam war (cf. Agent Orange)[51] and Eelam War in Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to destroy crops or defoliate vegetation. The United States and Britain discovered plant growth regulators (i.e., herbicides) during the Second World War, and initiated a herbicidal warfare program that was eventually used in Malaya and Vietnam in counterinsurgency operations.

In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had successfully developed variants of foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks attached to airplanes over hundreds of miles. The secret program was code-named “Ecology”.[48]

During the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used to kill cattle.[52]

Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program. EW may employ insects in a direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague. Essentially, EW exists in three varieties. One type of EW involves infecting insects with a pathogen and then dispersing the insects over target areas.[53] The insects then act as a vector, infecting any person or animal they might bite. Another type of EW is a direct insect attack against crops; the insect may not be infected with any pathogen but instead represents a threat to agriculture. The final method uses uninfected insects, such as bees, wasps, etc., to directly attack the enemy.[54]

In 2010 at The Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction in Geneva[55]the sanitary epidemiological reconnaissance was suggested as well-tested means for enhancing the monitoring of infections and parasitic agents, for practical implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The aim was to prevent and minimize the consequences of natural outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases as well as the threat of alleged use of biological weapons against BTWC States Parties.

It is important to note that most classical and modern biological weapons’ pathogens can be obtained from a plant or an animal which is naturally infected.[56]

Indeed, in the largest biological weapons accident knownthe anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979sheep became ill with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the release point of the organism from a military facility in the southeastern portion of the city and still off limits to visitors today, (see Sverdlovsk Anthrax leak).[57]

Thus, a robust surveillance system involving human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons attack early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of people (and/or animals) exposed but not yet ill.

For example, in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 2436 hours after an attack, some small percentage of individuals (those with compromised immune system or who had received a large dose of the organism due to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs (including a virtually unique chest X-ray finding, often recognized by public health officials if they receive timely reports).[58] The incubation period for humans is estimated to be about 11.8 days to 12.1 days. This suggested period is the first model that is independently consistent with data from the largest known human outbreak. These projections refines previous estimates of the distribution of early onset cases after a release and supports a recommended 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for individuals exposed to low doses of anthrax.[59] By making these data available to local public health officials in real time, most models of anthrax epidemics indicate that more than 80% of an exposed population can receive antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the moderately high mortality of the disease.[58]

From most specific to least specific:[60]

The goal of biodefense is to integrate the sustained efforts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Health care providers and public health officers are among the first lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (state) capabilities are being augmented by and coordinated with federal assets, to provide layered defenses against biological weapon attacks. During the first Gulf War the United Nations activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Force Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians.

The traditional approach toward protecting agriculture, food, and water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by focused efforts to address current and anticipated future biological weapons threats that may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.

The growing threat of biowarfare agents and bioterrorism has led to the development of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis and identification of encountered suspect materials. One such technology, being developed by researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), employs a “sandwich immunoassay”, in which fluorescent dye-labeled antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are attached to silver and gold nanowires.[61]

In the Netherlands, the company TNO has designed Bioaerosol Single Particle Recognition eQuipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for bioweapon attacks in the Netherlands.[62]

Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel are developing a different device called the BioPen, essentially a “Lab-in-a-Pen”, which can detect known biological agents in under 20 minutes using an adaptation of the ELISA, a similar widely employed immunological technique, that in this case incorporates fiber optics.[63]

Theoretically, novel approaches in biotechnology, such as synthetic biology could be used in the future to design novel types of biological warfare agents.[64][65][66][67] Special attention has to be laid on future experiments (of concern) that:[68]

Most of the biosecurity concerns in synthetic biology, however, are focused on the role of DNA synthesis and the risk of producing genetic material of lethal viruses (e.g. 1918 Spanish flu, polio) in the lab.[69][70][71] Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as a promising technique for gene editing. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “the most important innovation in the synthetic biology space in nearly 30 years.”[72] While other methods take months or years to edit gene sequences, CRISPR speeds that time up to weeks.[72] However, due to its ease of use and accessibility, it has raised a number of ethical concerns, especially surrounding its use in the biohacking space.[72][73][74]

(passim)

Bioweaponeers:

Writers and activists:

Read more:

Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Coconut Oil: Germ Warfare! | Underground Wellness

It happened!

There is one particular day I look forward to each year and it went down yesterday.

I woke up, strolled to the kitchen, and found my jar of coconut oil smiling at me.

It was so beautiful, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon to take its first flight. Like a wayward child coming home again.

It happened.

The coconut oil was liquid.

Summer is here.

Not only is the oil of all oils heart-healthy. Not only does it make your skin look dead sexy. Not only does it fight the bugs that attack your body, as we will discuss today.

Coconut oil makes one heck of a weather forecaster, too.

Yesterday brought blue skies with a high of 81 degrees in San Diego. And I didnt need the weather girl to tell me that.

The coconut oil told me.

And best of all, I can drink it from the jar now. I take my coconut oil to the head! Spoons are for wussies.

Anyway, just thought Id share in my summer excitement before dropping some knowledge bombs on you about coconut oil and your immunity. If youre on the East Coast, youve got something to look forward to in the coming weeks. Leave your jar on the counter and tweet me when your butterfly hatches!

**********************************

Tonight, its on like Donkey Kong. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle is on the UW Radio Show. Certain to be another hot one. My coconut oil told me so.

Dont miss it! 5pm PT/8pm ET

A major topic Bruce and I will be covering is the use of coconut oil as a means of fighting nasty bugs like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeast. One thing that dawned on me while reading his book is the well-known fact that traveling to tropical climates puts those of us from more moderate temperatures at risk of coming home with a bad case of the gut bugs.

Working with clients, one of the red flags I would see quite often was digestive dysfunction originating during or after a trip to some island paradise. For many, a stool test revealed a parasitic infection that likely lingered for years, even decades.

But what about the natives who have actually lived in these literal breeding grounds for microbes and critters for generations? Why dont they have an epidemic of digestive challenges and parasitic infection?

Its the coconut oil, baby.

When you really think about it, its quite the coincidence that God, Mother Nature, or the aliens (whoever you believe put us here) just so happened to supply one of the most antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic foods on Earth to a people living in a place where such microbes flourish. Even Weston Price was amazed by the low incidence of malaria in tropical people.

Amazingly, science has yet to explain a genetic explanation for such resistance. Why not?

Because its the coconut oil, baby!

Duh!

When we feel a cold coming on, most of us should be reaching for the kitchen cabinet before the medicine cabinet. Actually, we should be taking our coconut oil to the head every day or at least using it for cooking as a means of preventing all types of nasty infections.

In last weeks blog, I typed about the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) coconut oil consists of. These MCFAs, which include caprylic acid, capric acid, mystiric acid, and lauric acid, are quite sparse in our food supply. Not only are these fats burned immediately for fuel (as discussed last time), but they also possess incredible antimicrobial properties, with lauric acid having the greatest antiviral activity.

As you know, medical doctor are notorious for prescribing antibiotics for viral infections. This brings about two problems. The first problem is the ever-growing development of superbugs, which are antibiotic resistant (but maybe not MCFA-resistant). And of course, the second problem is the fact that antibiotics do not kill viruses!

But coconut oil and its MCFAs can.

Bacteria and viruses are typically coated with a lipid (fat) membrane (rhinovirus is an exception), which encloses their DNA and other cellular materials. This membrane is very fluid, flexible, and mobile, allowing it to squeeze its way in and out of tight spots.

Due to the fact that the fats making up this membrane are very similar to MCFAs, the medium-chain fatty acids from coconut can sneak past security and become absorbed into the membrane, where they weaken it, split it open, and kill it by pretty much ripping its insides out.

Coconut oil has a violent streak.

So gangsta.

The most intriguing part of this germ warfare is that the MCFAs are selective. Friendly fire isnt a problem. In the case of bacteria, we possess both good and bad bacteria in our guts. The MCFAs actually single out the bad guys and leave the good guys alone.

Its really amazing stuff.

Published research shows that the MCFAs from coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that cause the following illnesses. This is just a short list. More can be found on page 77 of The Coconut Oil Miracle. Of course, MCFAs are no panacea. But they deserve far more attention in the prevention and treatment of many diseases and conditions. Then again, you cant patent coconut oil and sell if for outlandish prices. So dont expect Big Pharma to run any ads for it any time soon.

Bacterial InfectionsThroat and sinus infectionsUrinary tract infectionsDental cavities and gum diseaseHelicobacter PyloriGastric ulcersEar infectionsFood poisoning

Viral InfectionsInfluenzaMeaslesHerpesChronic fatigue syndromeAIDS and HIV

Fungal InfectionsRingwormAthletes footCandidiasisToenail fungus

Parasite InfectionsGiardia

I can go on and on about the benefits of coconut oil. But Im out of time today. Gotta edit Episode 3 of the Underground Wellness Show (guest: Mark Sisson).

Dont forget to tune in to tonights UW Radio show and find out how much coconut oil you should be consuming and MORE!

Its at 5pm PT/8pm ET. Dial 347-237-5608 to ask Bruce your burning coconut questions. Or tweet me at @ugwellness.

UPDATE: Listen to the show with Dr. Fife below!

Peace.

SeanAuthor, The Dark Side of Fat Loss

View post:

Coconut Oil: Germ Warfare! | Underground Wellness

History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents (microbes and plants) as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms:

In the 20th century, sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents:

The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 15001200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic.[1] Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer’s epic poems about the legendary Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. During the First Sacred War in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic League poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (near Delphi) with the toxic plant hellebore.[2] During the 4th century BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, human blood, and animal feces to cause wounds to become infected.

In a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon in 184 BC, Hannibal of Carthage had clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.[3] The Roman commander Manius Aquillius poisoned the wells of besieged enemy cities in about 130 BC. In about AD 198, the Parthian city of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman army led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.[4]

There are numerous other instances of the use of plant toxins, venoms, and other poisonous substances to create biological weapons in antiquity.[5]

The Mongol Empire established commercial and political connections between the Eastern and Western areas of the world, through the most mobile army ever seen. The armies, composed of the most rapidly moving travelers who had ever moved between the steppes of East Asia (where bubonic plague was and remains endemic among small rodents), managed to keep the chain of infection without a break until they reached, and infected, peoples and rodents who had never encountered it. The ensuing Black Death may have killed up to 25 million in China and roughly a third of the population of Europe and in the next decades, changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.[6][7]

At the siege of Thun-l’vque in 1340, during the Hundred Years’ War, the attackers catapulted decomposing animals into the besieged area.[8]

In 1422, during the siege of Karlstein Castle in Bohemia, Hussite attackers used catapults to throw dead (but not plague-infected) bodies and 2000 carriage-loads of dung over the walls.[9]

The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked the Swedes by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn).[10] However, during the 1785 siege of La Calle, Tunisian forces flung diseased clothing into the city.[9]

English Longbowmen usually did not draw their arrows from a quiver; rather, they stuck their arrows into the ground in front of them. This allowed them to nock the arrows faster and the dirt and soil was likely to stick to the arrowheads, thus making the wounds much more likely to become infected.

Two instances of documents discussing the use of biological disease by the British against North American Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion (176366) have been examined by historians, but the actual effectiveness is unknown.[11][12] In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief enclosed in small metal boxes that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege.[13] William Trent, the militia commander, sent a bill to the British Army indicating that the purpose of giving the blankets was “to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians.” The invoice’s approval confirms that the British command endorsed Ecuyer actions.[14][15]

British commander Lord Jeffery Amherst and Swiss-British officer Colonel Henry Bouquet discussed the topic separately in the course of the same conflict; there exists correspondence referencing the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to enemy natives. Four letters are cited from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Amherst wrote on July 16, 1763, “P.S. You will Do well to try to Inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect,…” Bouquet replied on July 26, 1763, “I received yesterday your Excellency’s letters of 16th with their Inclosures. The signal for Indian Messengers, and all your directions will be observed.” Smallpox was highly contagious among the Native Americans, and together with measles, influenza, chicken pox, and other Old World diseases was a major cause of death since the arrival of Europeans and their animals. Trade and combat also provided ample opportunity for transmission of the disease. Though the 176364 smallpox outbreak weakened the native’s resistance to Bouquet’s campaign in Muskingum Valley, it is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[16] It is estimated that between 400,000500,000 Native American individuals during and after the war died from smallpox.[not in citation given][17][18][19]

Australian aborigines (Kooris) have always maintained that the British deliberately spread smallpox in 1789,[20] but this possibility has only been raised by historians from the 1980s when Dr Noel Butlin suggested; there are some possibilities that … disease could have been used deliberately as an exterminating agent.[21]

In 1997, David Day claimed there remains considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that officers other than Phillip, or perhaps convicts or soldiers deliberately spread smallpox among aborigines[22] and in 2000 Dr John Lambert argued that strong circumstantial evidence suggests the smallpox epidemic which ravaged Aborigines in 1789, may have resulted from deliberate infection.[23]

Judy Campbell argued in 2002 that it is highly improbable that the First Fleet was the source of the epidemic as “smallpox had not occurred in any members of the First Fleet”; the only possible source of infection from the Fleet being exposure to variolous matter imported for the purposes of inoculation against smallpox. Campbell argued that, while there has been considerable speculation about a hypothetical exposure to the First Fleet’s variolous matter, there was no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever actually exposed to it. She pointed to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was always present, and Aboriginal people in Australia’s North as a more likely source for the introduction of smallpox. She notes that while these fishermen are generally referred to as Macassans, referring to the port of Macassar on the island of Sulawesi from which most of the fishermen originated, some travelled from islands as distant as New Guinea. She noted that there is little disagreement that the smallpox epidemic of the 1860s was contracted from Macassan fishermen and spread through the Aboriginal population by Aborigines fleeing outbreaks and also via their traditional social, kinship and trading networks. She argued that the 178990 epidemic followed the same pattern.[24]

These claims are controversial as it is argued that any smallpox virus brought to New South Wales probably would have been sterilised by heat and humidity encountered during the voyage of the First Fleet from England and incapable of biological warfare. However, in 2007, Christopher Warren demonstrated that the British smallpox may have been still viable.[25] Since then some scholars have argued that the British committed biological warfare in 1789 near their new convict settlement at Port Jackson.[26][27]

In 2013 Warren reviewed the issue and argued that smallpox did not spread across Australia before 1824 and showed that there was no smallpox at Macassar that could have caused the outbreak at Sydney. Warren, however, did not address the issue of persons who joined the Macassan fleet from other islands and from parts of Sulawesi other than the port of Macassar. Warren concluded that the British were “the most likely candidates to have released smallpox” near Sydney Cove in 1789. Warren proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets. Warren also uses native oral tradition and the archaeology of native graves to analyse the cause and effect of the spread of smallpox in 1789.[28]

Prior to the publication of Warren’s article (2013), John Carmody argued that the epidemic was an outbreak of chickenpox which took a drastic toll on an Aboriginal population without immunological resistance. With regard to smallpox, Dr Carmody said: “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the theories and some of them are fanciful and far-fetched..” [29][30] Warren covered the chickenpox theory at endnote 3 of Smallpox at Sydney Cove Who, When, Why?.[31]

By the turn of the 20th century, advances in microbiology had made thinking about “germ warfare” part of the zeitgeist. Jack London, in his short story ‘”Yah! Yah! Yah!”‘ (1909), described a punitive European expedition to a South Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian population to measles, of which many of them died. London wrote another science fiction tale the following year, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), in which the Western nations wipe out all of China with a biological attack.

During the First World War (19141918), the Empire of Germany made some early attempts at anti-agriculture biological warfare. Those attempts were made by special sabotage group headed by Rudolf Nadolny. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German General Staff supplied small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the United States, and Argentina.[citation needed] In Finland, saboteurs mounted on reindeer placed ampoules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916.[32] Anthrax was also supplied to the German military attach in Bucharest, as was glanders, which was employed against livestock destined for Allied service. German intelligence officer and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger established a secret lab in the basement of his sister’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced glanders which was used to infect livestock in ports and inland collection points including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York City, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German agents also employed glanders in the port of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin wheat harvests with a destructive fungus.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons, but said nothing about experimentation, production, storage, or transfer; later treaties did cover these aspects. Twentieth-century advances in microbiology enabled the first pure-culture biological agents to be developed by World War II.

In the interwar period, little research was done in biological warfare in both Britain and the United States at first. In the United Kingdom the preoccupation was mainly in withstanding the anticipated conventional bombing attacks that would be unleashed in the event of war with Germany. As tensions increased, Sir Frederick Banting began lobbying the British government to establish a research program into the research and development of biological weapons to effectively deter the Germans from launching a biological attack. Banting proposed a number of innovative schemes for the dissemination of pathogens, including aerial-spray attacks and germs distributed through the mail system.

With the onset of hostilities, the Ministry of Supply finally established a biological weapons programme at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests, was contaminated with anthrax for the next 48 years. Although Britain never offensively used the biological weapons it developed, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[33] Other nations, notably France and Japan, had begun their own biological-weapons programs.[34]

When the United States entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[35] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[36]

However, the most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[37] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns. Three veterans of Unit 731 testified in a 1989 interview to the Asahi Shimbun that they contaminated the Horustein river with typhoid near the Soviet troops during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.[38] In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[39] A film showing this operation was seen by the imperial princes Tsuneyoshi Takeda and Takahito Mikasa during a screening made by mastermind Shiro Ishii.[40] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that as early as 1941 some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[41]

Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, using disease-bearing insects rather than dispersing the agent as a bioaerosol cloud.[37] Nevertheless, some modern Chinese historians estimate that 400,000 Chinese died as a direct result of Japanese field testing and operational use of biological weapons.[42]

Ban Shigeo, a technician at the Japanese Army’s 9th Technical Research Institute, left an account of the activities at the Institute which was published in “The Truth About the Army Nororito Institute”.[43] Ban included an account of his trip to Nanking in 1941 to participate in the testing of poisons on Chinese prisoners.[43] His testimony tied the Noborito Institute to the infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research.[43]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to utilize plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. They hope that it would kill tens of thousands of U.S. civilians and thereby dissuading America from attacking Japan. The plan was set to launch on September 22, 1945, at night, but it never came into fruition due to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.[44][45][46][47]

When the war ended, the US Army quietly enlisted certain members of Noborito in its efforts against the communist camp in the early years of the Cold War.[43] The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii, was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for providing information to the United States on the Unit’s activities.[48] Allegations were made that a “chemical section” of a US clandestine unit hidden within Yokosuka naval base was operational during the Korean War, and then worked on unspecified projects inside the United States from 1955 to 1959, before returning to Japan to enter the private sector.[43][49]

Some of the Unit 731 personnel were imprisoned by the Soviets[citation needed], and may have been a potential source of information on Japanese weaponization.

Considerable research into BW was undertaken throughout the Cold War era by the US, UK and USSR, and probably other major nations as well, although it is generally believed that such weapons were never used.

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses. Trial tests at sea were carried out including Operation Cauldron off Stornoway in 1952. The programme was cancelled in 1956, when the British government unilaterally renounced the use of biological and chemical weapons.

The United States initiated its weaponization efforts with disease vectors in 1953, focused on Plague-fleas, EEE-mosquitoes, and yellow fever mosquitoes (OJ-AP).[citation needed] However, US medical scientists in occupied Japan undertook extensive research on insect vectors, with the assistance of former Unit 731 staff, as early as 1946.[48]

The United States Army Chemical Corps then initiated a crash program to weaponize anthrax (N) in the E61 1/2-lb hour-glass bomblet. Though the program was successful in meeting its development goals, the lack of validation on the infectivity of anthrax stalled standardization.[citation needed] The United States Air Force was also unsatisfied with the operational qualities of the M114/US bursting bomblet and labeled it an interim item until the Chemical Corps could deliver a superior weapon.[citation needed]

Around 1950 the Chemical Corps also initiated a program to weaponize tularemia (UL). Shortly after the E61/N failed to make standardization, tularemia was standardized in the 3.4″ M143 bursting spherical bomblet. This was intended for delivery by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile warhead and could produce 50% infection over a 7-square-mile (18km2) area.[50] Although tularemia is treatable by antibiotics, treatment does not shorten the course of the disease. US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subjects for tularemia in a program known as Operation Whitecoat.[51] There were also many unpublicized tests carried out in public places with bio-agent simulants during the Cold War.[52]

In addition to the use of bursting bomblets for creating biological aerosols, the Chemical Corps started investigating aerosol-generating bomblets in the 1950s. The E99 was the first workable design, but was too complex to be manufactured. By the late 1950s the 4.5″ E120 spraying spherical bomblet was developed; a B-47 bomber with a SUU-24/A dispenser could infect 50% or more of the population of a 16-square-mile (41km2) area with tularemia with the E120.[53] The E120 was later superseded by dry-type agents.

Dry-type biologicals resemble talcum powder, and can be disseminated as aerosols using gas expulsion devices instead of a burster or complex sprayer.[citation needed] The Chemical Corps developed Flettner rotor bomblets and later triangular bomblets for wider coverage due to improved glide angles over Magnus-lift spherical bomblets.[54] Weapons of this type were in advanced development by the time the program ended.[54]

From January 1962, Rocky Mountain Arsenal grew, purified and biodemilitarized plant pathogen Wheat Stem Rust (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, for the Air Force biological anti-crop program. TX-treated grain was grown at the Arsenal from 19621968 in Sections 2326. Unprocessed TX was also transported from Beale AFB for purification, storage, and disposal.[55] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is a toxin that can be extracted from Wheat Stem Rust and Rice Blast and can kill or incapacitate depending on the concentration used. The red mold disease of wheat and barley in Japan is prevalent in the region that faces the Pacific Ocean. Toxic trichothecenes, including nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, and monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) from Fusarium nivale, can be isolated from moldy grains. In the suburbs of Tokyo, an illness similar to red mold disease was described in an outbreak of a food borne disease, as a result of the consumption of Fusarium- infected rice. Ingestion of moldy grains that are contaminated with trichothecenes has been associated with mycotoxicosis.[56]

Although there is no evidence that biological weapons were used by the United States, China and North Korea accused the US of large-scale field testing of BW against them during the Korean War (19501953). At the time of the Korean War the United States had only weaponized one agent, brucellosis (“Agent US”), which is caused by Brucella suis. The original weaponized form used the M114 bursting bomblet in M33 cluster bombs. While the specific form of the biological bomb was classified until some years after the Korean War, in the various exhibits of biological weapons that Korea alleged were dropped on their country nothing resembled an M114 bomblet. There were ceramic containers that had some similarity to Japanese weapons used against the Chinese in World War II, developed by Unit 731.[37][57]

Cuba also accused the United States of spreading human and animal disease on their island nation.[58][59]

During the 1948 Israel War of Independence, International Red Cross reports raised suspicion that the Israeli Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacteria into the water supply for the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid among the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later claimed to have captured disguised Haganah soldiers near wells in Gaza, whom they executed for allegedly attempting another attack. Israel denies these allegations.[60][61]

In mid-1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, which would lead to the signing of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972. United States President Richard Nixon signed an executive order on November 1969, which stopped production of biological weapons in the United States and allowed only scientific research of lethal biological agents and defensive measures such as immunization and biosafety. The biological munition stockpiles were destroyed, and approximately 2,200 researchers became redundant.[62]

Special munitions for the United States Special Forces and the CIA and the Big Five Weapons for the military were destroyed in accordance with Nixon’s executive order to end the offensive program. The CIA maintained its collection of biologicals well into 1975 when it became the subject of the senate Church Committee.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. The convention bound its signatories to a far more stringent set of regulations than had been envisioned by the 1925 Geneva Protocols. By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty; however it is believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

The Soviet Union continued research and production of offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site.[63] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic.[64]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to use chemical and biological warfare agents. Watercourses at several sites inside the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. The Rhodesians also experimented with several other pathogens and toxins for use in their counterinsurgency.[65]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons; the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation,[66] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage.[67]

According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 8 countries were generally reported as having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs in 1995: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Taiwan. Five countries had admitted to having had offensive weapon or development programs in the past: United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[68] Offensive BW programs in Iraq were dismantled by Coalition Forces and the UN after the first Gulf War (199091), although an Iraqi military BW program was covertly maintained in defiance of international agreements until it was apparently abandoned during 1995 and 1996.[69]

On September 18, 2001 and for a few days thereafter, several letters were received by members of the U.S. Congress and American media outlets which contained intentionally prepared anthrax spores; the attack sickened at least 22 people of whom five died. The identity of the bioterrorist remained unknown until 2008, when an official suspect, who had committed suicide, was named. (See 2001 anthrax attacks.)

Suspicions of an ongoing Iraqi biological warfare program were not substantiated in the wake of the March 2003 invasion of that country. Later that year, however, Muammar Gaddafi was persuaded to terminate Libya’s biological warfare program. In 2008, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Taiwan are considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability.[70] By 2011, 165 countries had officially joined the BWC and pledged to disavow biological weapons.[71]

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History of biological warfare – Wikipedia

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Germ Warfare | Recess Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Germ WarfareSeasonEpisode Number0436Air Date

February 29, 2000

“Germ Warfare” is the thirty sixth episode of the fourth season of Recess, which was first broadcast on February 29, 2000.

Gus and Mikey are at war after Gretchen catches a cold.

The Gang is in science class where they witness the binary fission of a bacterium. Gus is horrified when he finds out that bacteria and germs are the same thing, and believes that all germs can cause decay and disease. Mikey begs to differ, saying that bacteria and germs are living creatures and even gives each germ an individual name. As Mikeyis about to release the germs, Gretchen makes the problem worse by informing Gus that germs are everywhere, causing him to run out of the classroom in a panic.

In the boys’ room, the paranoid Gus is shown cleaning himself. At Recess, he shows up wearing a biohazard suit protecting him from germs. T.J. now realizes that Gus is overreacting, as Gretchen tries to clear up a few misconceptions, before suddenly starting to feel ill; she has caught a cold. It serves as a big deal to Gus who is convinced that the germs made her sick.

Gus is wandering round the playground in his suit, spreading the word about germs and frightening the Ashleys, when Menlo arrives, agreeing to help Gus in his anti-germ campaign, and putting on his own biohazard suit.

Gus holds a meeting in the playground discussing the dangers of germs, which Mikey observes atopOld Rusty. With nearly all the students joining Gus’ campaign, Mikey decides to speak out for germs, but is jeered at by the students. Soon enough, they are cleaning up the playground and donning masks and surgical gloves, and a couple of tanker trucks arrive to disinfect the area of germs. Mikey decides to protest by holding up degermification, and refuses to budge. This only leads to a furious tussle between the two, which results in Mikey dropping his slide and breaking it. Believing that Gus killed the germs, Mikey becomes furious with him and the two start a big fight, which continues for some time until Gretchen arrives, having recovered from her cold.

Gretchen rekindles Gus and Mikey’s friendship by saying that germs are neither good nor bad and they are just a part of life. Gus and Mikey both make up for earlier, and Gus happily re-opens the playground.

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Germ warfare – definition of germ warfare by The Free …

.

The use of injurious microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, as weapons in warfare.

(Military) the military use of disease-spreading bacteria against an enemy. Also called: bacteriological warfare

the use in war of pathogenic organisms or toxins to disable an enemy or destroy resources.

[194550]

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

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Germ warfare – definition of germ warfare by The Free …

Germ Synonyms, Germ Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

mid-15c., “bud, sprout;” 1640s, “rudiment of a new organism in an existing one,” from Middle French germe “germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering,” from Latin germen (genitive germinis) “sprout, bud,” perhaps from PIE root *gen- “to beget, bear” (see genus). The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of “seed of a disease” first recorded 1803; that of “harmful microorganism” dates from 1871. Germ warfare recorded from 1920.

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UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Most of us heard about the horrible experiments on humans of the Nazis done by doctor Mengele. But the Nazis werent alone in conducting cruel experiments on humans.

One of the lesser known atrocities of the 20th century was committed by the Imperial Japanese Armys Unit 731. Some of the details of this units activities are still uncovered.

This webpage was set up to collect and organize the information known to date about Unit 731 and present it to anyone interested.

Unit 731 Complex

For 40 years, the horrific activities of Unit 731 remained one the most closely guarded secrets of World War II. It was not until 1984 that Japan acknowledged what it had long denied vile experiments on humans conducted by the unit in preparation for germ warfare.

Deliberately infected with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens, an estimated 3,000 of enemy soldiers and civilians were used as guinea pigs. Some of the more horrific experiments included vivisection without anesthesia and pressure chambers to see how much a human could take before his eyes popped out.

Unit 731 was set up in 1938 in Japanese-occupied China with the aim of developing biological weapons. It also operated a secret research and experimental school in Shinjuku, central Tokyo. Its head was Lieutenant Shiro Ishii.

The unit was supported by Japanese universities and medical schools which supplied doctors and research staff. The picture now emerging about its activities is horrifying.

Manchurian Plaguev ictims 1910-1911

According to reports never officially admitted by the Japanese authorities, the unit used thousands of Chinese and other Asian civilians and wartime prisoners as human guinea pigs to breed and develop killer diseases.

Many of the prisoners, who were murdered in the name of research, were used in hideous vivisection and other medical experiments, including barbaric trials to determine the effect of frostbite on the human body.

To ease the conscience of those involved, the prisoners were referred to not as people or patients but as Maruta, or wooden logs. Before Japans surrender, the site of the experiments was completely destroyed, so that no evidence is left.

Then, the remaining 400 prisoners were shot and employees of the unit had to swear secrecy. The mice kept in the laboratory were then released, which could have cost the lives of 30,000 people, since the mice were infected with the bubonic plague, and they spread the disease.

Few of those involved with Unit 731 have admitted their guilt.

Some caught in China at the end of the war were arrested and detained, but only a handful of them were prosecuted for war crimes.

In Japan, not one was brought to justice. In a secret deal, the post-war American administration gave them immunity for prosecution in return for details of their experiments.

Some of the worst criminals, including Hisato Yoshimura, who was in charge of the frostbite experiments, went on to occupy key medical and other posts in public and private sectors.

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UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Unit 731 – Wikipedia

Unit 731 (Japanese: 731, Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (19371945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Imperial Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China).

It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (, Kantgun Beki Kysuibu Honbu). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, a combat medic officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name “Unit 731” in 1941.

At least 3,000 men, women, and children[1][2]from which at least 600 every year were provided by the Kempeitai[3]were subjected as “logs” to experimentation conducted by Unit 731 at the camp based in Pingfang alone, which does not include victims from other medical experimentation sites, such as Unit 100.[4]

Unit 731 participants of Japan attest that most of the victims they experimented on were Chinese while a lesser percentage were Soviet, Mongolian, Korean, and other Allied POWs. The unit received generous support from the Japanese government up to the end of the war in 1945.

Instead of being tried for war crimes after the war, the researchers involved in Unit 731 were secretly given immunity by the U.S. in exchange for the data they gathered through human experimentation.[5] Other researchers that the Soviet forces managed to arrest first were tried at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in 1949. The Americans did not try the researchers so that the information and experience gained in bio-weapons could be co-opted into the U.S. biological warfare program, as had happened with Nazi researchers in Operation Paperclip.[6] On 6 May 1947, Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, wrote to Washington that “additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as ‘War Crimes’ evidence”.[5] Victim accounts were then largely ignored or dismissed in the West as communist propaganda.[7]

In 1932, Surgeon General Shir Ishii ( Ishii Shir), chief medical officer of the Japanese Army and protg of Army Minister Sadao Araki was placed in a command of the Army Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory (AEPRL). Ishii organized a secret research group, the “Tg Unit”, for various chemical and biological experimentation in Manchuria. Ishii had proposed the creation of a Japanese biological and chemical research unit in 1930, after a two-year study trip abroad, on the grounds that Western powers were developing their own programs. One of Ishii’s main supporters inside the army was Colonel Chikahiko Koizumi, who later became Japan’s Health Minister from 1941 to 1945. Koizumi had joined a secret poison gas research committee in 1915, during World War I, when he and other Imperial Japanese Army officers became impressed by the successful German use of chlorine gas at the second battle of Ypres, where the Allies suffered 15,000 casualties as a result of the chemical attack.[8]

Unit Tg was implemented in the Zhongma Fortress, a prison/experimentation camp in Beiyinhe, a village 100km (62mi) south of Harbin on the South Manchuria Railway. A jailbreak in autumn 1934 and later explosion (believed to be an attack) in 1935 led Ishii to shut down Zhongma Fortress. He received the authorization to move to Pingfang, approximately 24km (15mi) south of Harbin, to set up a new and much larger facility.[9]

In 1936, Emperor Hirohito authorized by decree the expansion of this unit and its integration into the Kwantung Army as the Epidemic Prevention Department.[10] It was divided at the same time into the “Ishii Unit” and “Wakamatsu Unit” with a base in Hsinking. From August 1940, the units were known collectively as the “Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army ()”[11] or “Unit 731” (731) for short. In addition to the establishment of Unit 731, the decree also called for the establishment of an additional biological warfare development unit called the Kwantung Army Military Horse Epidemic Prevention Workshop (later referred to as Manchuria Unit 100) and a chemical warfare development unit called the Kwantung Army Technical Testing Department. (later referred to as Manchuria Unit 516) After Japanese expansion throughout China in 1937, sister chemical and biological warfare units were founded in major Chinese cities, and were referred to as Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Units. Detachments included Unit 1855 in Beijing, Unit 1644 in Nanjing, Unit 8604 in Guangzhou and later, Unit 9420 in Singapore. The compilation of all these units comprised Ishiis network, and at its height in 1939, was composed of more than 10,000 personnel.[12]

Medical doctors and professors from Japan were attracted to join Unit 731 by the rare opportunity to conduct human experimentation and strong financial support from the Army.[13]

A special project code-named Maruta used human beings for experiments. Test subjects were gathered from the surrounding population and were sometimes referred to euphemistically as “logs” (, maruta), used in such contexts as “How many logs fell?”. This term originated as a joke on the part of the staff because the official cover story for the facility given to the local authorities was that it was a lumber mill. However, in an account by a man who worked as a junior uniformed civilian employee of the Imperial Japanese Army in Unit 731, the project was internally called “Holzklotz”, which is a German word for log.[14] In a further parallel, the corpses of “sacrificed” subjects were disposed of by incineration.[15] Researchers in Unit 731 also published some of their results in peer-reviewed journals, writing as though the research had been conducted on non-human primates called “Manchurian monkeys” or “long-tailed monkeys”.[16]

The test subjects were selected to give a wide cross-section of the population and included common criminals, captured bandits and anti-Japanese partisans, political prisoners and also people rounded up by the Kempeitai military police for alleged “suspicious activities”. They included infants, the elderly, and pregnant women. The members of the unit, approximately three hundred researchers, included doctors and bacteriologists; most were Japanese, although some were Chinese and Korean collaborators.[17] Many had been desensitized to performing unpleasant experiments from experience in animal research.[18]

Thousands of men, women, children, and infants interned at prisoner of war camps were subjected to vivisection, often without anesthesia and usually ending with the death of the victim.[19][20] Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases. Researchers performed invasive surgery on prisoners, removing organs to study the effects of disease on the human body. These were conducted while the patients were alive because it was thought that the death of the subject would affect the results.[21]

Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss. Those limbs that were removed were sometimes re-attached to the opposite sides of the body. Some prisoners had their stomachs surgically removed and the esophagus reattached to the intestines. Parts of organs, such as the brain, lungs, and liver, were removed from some prisoners.[20] Imperial Japanese Army surgeon Ken Yuasa suggests that the practice of vivisection on human subjects (mostly Chinese communists) was widespread even outside Unit 731,[22] estimating that at least 1,000 Japanese personnel were involved in the practice in mainland China.[23]

Prisoners were injected with diseases, disguised as vaccinations,[24] to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhoea, then studied. Prisoners were also repeatedly subject to rape by guards.[25]

Plague fleas, infected clothing and infected supplies encased in bombs were dropped on various targets. The resulting cholera, anthrax, and plague were estimated to have killed around and possibly more than 400,000 Chinese civilians.[26] Tularemia was tested on Chinese civilians.[27]

Unit 731 and its affiliated units (Unit 1644 and Unit 100 among others) were involved in research, development and experimental deployment of epidemic-creating biowarfare weapons in assaults against the Chinese populace (both civilian and military) throughout World War II. Plague-infected fleas, bred in the laboratories of Unit 731 and Unit 1644, were spread by low-flying airplanes upon Chinese cities, including coastal Ningbo in 1940, and Changde, Hunan Province, in 1941. This military aerial spraying killed thousands of people with bubonic plague epidemics.[28]

It is possible that Unit 731’s methods and objectives were also followed in Indonesia, in a case of a failed experiment designed to validate a synthesized tetanus toxoid vaccine.[29]

Physiologist Yoshimura Hisato conducted experiments by taking captives outside, dipping various appendages into water, and allowing the limb to freeze. Once frozen, which testimony from a Japanese officer said “was determined after the ‘frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck'”,[30] ice was chipped away and the area doused in water. The effects of different water temperatures were tested by bludgeoning the victim to determine if any areas were still frozen. Variations of these tests in more gruesome forms were performed.

Doctors orchestrated forced sex acts between infected and non-infected prisoners to transmit the disease, as the testimony of a prison guard on the subject of devising a method for transmission of syphilis between patients shows:

“Infection of venereal disease by injection was abandoned, and the researchers started forcing the prisoners into sexual acts with each other. Four or five unit members, dressed in white laboratory clothing completely covering the body with only eyes and mouth visible, handled the tests. A male and female, one infected with syphilis, would be brought together in a cell and forced into sex with each other. It was made clear that anyone resisting would be shot.”[31]

After victims were infected, they were vivisected at different stages of infection, so that internal and external organs could be observed as the disease progressed. Testimony from multiple guards blames the female victims as being hosts of the diseases, even as they were forcibly infected. Genitals of female prisoners that were infected with syphilis were called “jam filled buns” by guards.[32]

Some children grew up inside the walls of Unit 731, infected with syphilis. A Youth Corps member deployed to train at Unit 731 recalled viewing a batch of subjects that would undergo syphilis testing: “one was a Chinese woman holding an infant, one was a White Russian woman with a daughter of four or five years of age, and the last was a White Russian woman with a boy of about six or seven.”[32] The children of these women were tested in ways similar to their parents, with specific emphasis on determining how longer infection periods affected the effectiveness of treatments.

Female prisoners were forced to become pregnant for use in experiments. The hypothetical possibility of vertical transmission (from mother to child) of diseases, particularly syphilis, was the stated reason for the torture. Fetal survival and damage to mother’s reproductive organs were objects of interest. Though “a large number of babies were born in captivity”, there have been no accounts of any survivors of Unit 731, children included. It is suspected that the children of female prisoners were killed or the pregnancies terminated.[32]

While male prisoners were often used in single studies, so that the results of the experimentation on them would not be clouded by other variables, women were sometimes used in bacteriological or physiological experiments, sex experiments, and as the victims of sex crimes. The testimony of a unit member that served as guard graphically demonstrated this reality:

“One of the former researchers I located told me that one day he had a human experiment scheduled, but there was still time to kill. So he and another unit member took the keys to the cells and opened one that housed a Chinese woman. One of the unit members raped her; the other member took the keys and opened another cell. There was a Chinese woman in there who had been used in a frostbite experiment. She had several fingers missing and her bones were black, with gangrene set in. He was about to rape her anyway, then he saw that her sex organ was festering, with pus oozing to the surface. He gave up the idea, left and locked the door, then later went on to his experimental work.”[32]

Human targets were used to test grenades positioned at various distances and in different positions. Flamethrowers were tested on humans. Humans were also tied to stakes and used as targets to test germ-releasing bombs, chemical weapons, and explosive bombs.[33][34]

In other tests, subjects were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death; placed into high-pressure chambers until death; experimented upon to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival; placed into centrifuges and spun until death; injected with animal blood; exposed to lethal doses of x-rays; subjected to various chemical weapons inside gas chambers; injected with sea water; and burned or buried alive.[35]

Japanese researchers performed tests on prisoners with bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, botulism, and other diseases.[36] This research led to the development of the defoliation bacilli bomb and the flea bomb used to spread bubonic plague.[37] Some of these bombs were designed with porcelain shells, an idea proposed by Ishii in 1938.

These bombs enabled Japanese soldiers to launch biological attacks, infecting agriculture, reservoirs, wells, and other areas with anthrax, plague-carrier fleas, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and other deadly pathogens. During biological bomb experiments, researchers dressed in protective suits would examine the dying victims. Infected food supplies and clothing were dropped by airplane into areas of China not occupied by Japanese forces. In addition, poisoned food and candies were given to unsuspecting victims, and the results examined.

In 2002, Changde, China, site of the flea spraying attack, held an “International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare” which estimated that at least 580,000 people died as a result of the attack.[38] The historian Sheldon Harris claims that 200,000 died.[39] In addition to Chinese casualties, 1,700 Japanese in Chekiang were killed by their own biological weapons while attempting to unleash the biological agent, indicating serious issues with distribution.[1]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against San Diego, California. The plan was scheduled to launch on September 22, 1945, but Japan surrendered five weeks earlier.[40][41][42][43]

According to A.S. Wells, the majority of victims were mostly Chinese (including accused “bandits” and “Communists”), Korean, and Soviet, although they may also have included European, American, and Australian prisoners of war.[44]

Unit 731 participants of Japan attest that most of the victims they experimented on were Chinese[22] while a small percentage were Soviet, Mongolian, Korean, and other Allied POWs.[45] Almost 70% of the victims who died in the Pingfang camp were Chinese, including both civilian and military.[46] Close to 30% of the victims were Soviet.[47] Some others were Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, at the time colonies of the Empire of Japan, and a small number of Allied prisoners of war.[48]

Robert Peaty (19031989), a British Major in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was the senior ranking allied officer. During this time, he kept a secret diary. A copy of his entire diary exists in the NARA archives.[49] An extract of the diary is available at the UK National Archives at Kew.[50] He was interviewed by the Imperial War Museum in 1981, and the audio recording tape reels are in the IWM’s archives.[51]

In April 2018, the National Archives of Japan for the first time disclosed a nearly-complete list of 3607 people who worked for Unit 731 to Dr. Katsuo Nishiyama of the Shiga University of Medical Science, who says that he intends to publish the list online.[52]

Unit 731 was divided into eight divisions:

The Unit 731 complex covered six square kilometres (2.3 square miles) and consisted of more than 150 buildings. The design of the facilities made them hard to destroy by bombing. The complex contained various factories. It had around 4,500 containers to be used to raise fleas, six cauldrons to produce various chemicals, and around 1,800 containers to produce biological agents. Approximately 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of bubonic plague bacteria could be produced in a few days.

Some of Unit 731’s satellite facilities are in use by various Chinese industrial concerns. A portion has been preserved and is open to visitors as a War Crimes Museum.

A medical school and research facility belonging to Unit 731 operated in the Shinjuku District of Tokyo during World War II. In 2006, Toyo Ishiia nurse who worked at the school during the warrevealed that she had helped bury bodies and pieces of bodies on the school’s grounds shortly after Japan’s surrender in 1945. In response, in February 2011 the Ministry of Health began to excavate the site.[54]

China requested DNA samples from any human remains discovered at the site. The Japanese governmentwhich has never officially acknowledged the atrocities committed by Unit 731rejected the request.[55]

The related Unit 8604 was operated by the Japanese Southern China Area Army and stationed at Guangzhou (Canton). This installation conducted human experimentation in food and water deprivation as well as water-borne typhus. According to postwar testimony, this facility served as the main rat breeding farm for the medical units to provide them with bubonic plague vectors for experiments.[56]

Unit 731 was part of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department which dealt with contagious disease and water supply generally.

Operations and experiments continued until the end of the war. Ishii had wanted to use biological weapons in the Pacific War since May 1944, but his attempts were repeatedly snubbed.

With the coming of the Red Army in August 1945, the unit had to abandon their work in haste. The members and their families fled to Japan.

Ishii ordered every member of the group “to take the secret to the grave”, threatening to find them if they failed, and prohibiting any of them from going into public work back in Japan. Potassium cyanide vials were issued for use in the event that the remaining personnel were captured.

Skeleton crews of Ishii’s Japanese troops blew up the compound in the final days of the war to destroy evidence of their activities, but most were so well constructed that they survived somewhat intact.

Among the individuals in Japan after its 1945 surrender was Lieutenant Colonel Murray Sanders, who arrived in Yokohama via the American ship Sturgess in September 1945. Sanders was a highly regarded microbiologist and a member of America’s military center for biological weapons. Sanders’ duty was to investigate Japanese biological warfare activity. At the time of his arrival in Japan he had no knowledge of what Unit 731 was.[32] Until Sanders finally threatened the Japanese with bringing the Soviets into the picture, little information about biological warfare was being shared with the Americans. The Japanese wanted to avoid prosecution under the Soviet legal system, so the next morning after he made his threat, Sanders received a manuscript describing Japan’s involvement in biological warfare.[57] Sanders took this information to General Douglas MacArthur, who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers responsible for rebuilding Japan during the Allied occupations. MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants[58]he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation.[5] American occupation authorities monitored the activities of former unit members, including reading and censoring their mail.[59] The U.S. believed that the research data was valuable, and did not want other nations, particularly the Soviet Union, to acquire data on biological weapons.[60]

The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal heard only one reference to Japanese experiments with “poisonous serums” on Chinese civilians. This took place in August 1946 and was instigated by David Sutton, assistant to the Chinese prosecutor. The Japanese defense counsel argued that the claim was vague and uncorroborated and it was dismissed by the tribunal president, Sir William Webb, for lack of evidence. The subject was not pursued further by Sutton, who was probably unaware of Unit 731’s activities. His reference to it at the trial is believed to have been accidental.

Although publicly silent on the issue at the Tokyo Trials, the Soviet Union pursued the case and prosecuted twelve top military leaders and scientists from Unit 731 and its affiliated biological-war prisons Unit 1644 in Nanjing, and Unit 100 in Changchun, in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. Included among those prosecuted for war crimes, including germ warfare, was General Otoz Yamada, the commander-in-chief of the million-man Kwantung Army occupying Manchuria.

The trial of those captured Japanese perpetrators was held in Khabarovsk in December 1949. A lengthy partial transcript of the trial proceedings was published in different languages the following year by a Moscow foreign languages press, including an English language edition.[61] The lead prosecuting attorney at the Khabarovsk trial was Lev Smirnov, who had been one of the top Soviet prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials. The Japanese doctors and army commanders who had perpetrated the Unit 731 experiments received sentences from the Khabarovsk court ranging from two to 25 years in a Siberian labor camp. The U.S. refused to acknowledge the trials, branding them communist propaganda.[62] The sentences doled out to the Japanese perpetrators were unusually lenient for Soviet standards, and all but one of the defendants returned to Japan by the 1950s (with the remaining prisoner committing suicide inside his cell). In addition to the accusations of propaganda, the US also asserted that the trials were to only serve as a distraction from the Soviet treatment of several hundred thousand Japanese prisoners of war; meanwhile, the USSR asserted that the US had given the Japanese diplomatic leniency in exchange for information regarding their human experimentation. The accusations of both the US and the USSR were true, and it is believed that they had also exchanged information to the Soviets regarding their biological experimentation for judicial leniency.[63] This was evidenced by the Soviet Union building a biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk using documentation captured from Unit 731 in Manchuria.[64]

As above, under the American occupation the members of Unit 731 and other experimental units were allowed to go free. One graduate of Unit 1644, Masami Kitaoka, continued to do experiments on unwilling Japanese subjects from 1947 to 1956 while working for Japan’s National Institute of Health Sciences. He infected prisoners with rickettsia and mental health patients with typhus.[65]

Shiro Ishii, as the chief of the unit, was granted war crime immunity from the US occupation authorities, because of his provision of human experimentation research materials to the US. From 1948 to 1958, less than 5% of the documents were transferred onto microfilm and stored in the National Archives of the United States, before being shipped back to Japan.[66]

Japanese discussions of Unit 731’s activity began in the 1950s, after the end of the American occupation of Japan. In 1952, human experiments carried out in Nagoya City Pediatric Hospital, which resulted in one death, were publicly tied to former members of Unit 731.[67] Later in that decade, journalists suspected that the murders attributed by the government to Sadamichi Hirasawa were actually carried out by members of Unit 731. In 1958, Japanese author Shsaku End published the book The Sea and Poison about human experimentation, which is thought to have been based on a real incident.

The author Seiichi Morimura published The Devil’s Gluttony () in 1981, followed by The Devil’s Gluttony: A Sequel in 1983. These books purported to reveal the “true” operations of Unit 731, but actually confused them with that of Unit 100, and falsely used unrelated photos attributing them to Unit 731, which raised questions about its accuracy.[68][69]

Also in 1981 appeared the first direct testimony of human vivisection in China, by Ken Yuasa. Since then many more in-depth testimonies have appeared in Japanese. The 2001 documentary Japanese Devils was composed largely of interviews with 14 members of Unit 731 who had been taken as prisoners by China and later released.[70]

Since the end of the Allied occupation, the Japanese government has repeatedly apologized for its pre-war behavior in general, but specific apologies and indemnities are determined on the basis of bilateral determination that crimes occurred, which requires a high standard of evidence. Unit 731 presents a special problem, since unlike Nazi human experimentation which the U.S. publicly condemned, the activities of Unit 731 are known to the general public only from the testimonies of willing former unit members, and testimony cannot be employed to determine indemnity in this way.

Japanese history textbooks usually contain references to Unit 731, but do not go into detail about allegations, in accordance with this principle.[71][72] Sabur Ienaga’s New History of Japan included a detailed description, based on officers’ testimony. The Ministry for Education attempted to remove this passage from his textbook before it was taught in public schools, on the basis that the testimony was insufficient. The Supreme Court of Japan ruled in 1997 that the testimony was indeed sufficient and that requiring it to be removed was an illegal violation of freedom of speech.[73]

In 1997, the international lawyer Knen Tsuchiya filed a class action suit against the Japanese government, demanding reparations for the actions of Unit 731, using evidence filed by Professor Makoto Ueda of Rikkyo University. All Japanese court levels found that the suit was baseless. No findings of fact were made about the existence of human experimentation, but the decision of the court was that reparations are determined by international treaties and not by national court cases.

In October 2003, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan filed an inquiry. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi responded that the Japanese government did not then possess any records related to Unit 731, but the government recognized the gravity of the matter and would publicize any records that were located in the future.[74] In April 2018, the National Archives of Japan released the names of 3,607 members of Unit 731, in response to a request by Professor Katsuo Nishiyama of the Shiga University of Medical Science.[75]

After WWII, the Office of Special Investigations created a watchlist of suspected Axis collaborators and persecutors that are banned from entering the U.S. While they have added over 60,000 names to the watchlist, they have only been able to identify under 100 Japanese participants. In a 1998 correspondence letter between the DOJ and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Eli Rosenbaum, director of OSI, stated that this was due to two factors. (1) While most documents captured by the U.S. in Europe were microfilmed before being returned to their respective governments, the Department of Defense decided to not microfilm its vast collection of documents before returning them back to the Japanese government. (2) The Japanese government has also failed to grant the OSI meaningful access to these and related records after the war, while European countries, on the other hand, have been largely cooperative.[76] The cumulative effect of which is that information pertaining to identifying these individuals is, in effect, impossible to recover.

There have been several films about the atrocities of Unit 731.

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Unit 731 – Wikipedia

Germ Synonyms, Germ Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

mid-15c., “bud, sprout;” 1640s, “rudiment of a new organism in an existing one,” from Middle French germe “germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering,” from Latin germen (genitive germinis) “sprout, bud,” perhaps from PIE root *gen- “to beget, bear” (see genus). The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of “seed of a disease” first recorded 1803; that of “harmful microorganism” dates from 1871. Germ warfare recorded from 1920.

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Germ Synonyms, Germ Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Most of us heard about the horrible experiments on humans of the Nazis done by doctor Mengele. But the Nazis werent alone in conducting cruel experiments on humans.

One of the lesser known atrocities of the 20th century was committed by the Imperial Japanese Armys Unit 731. Some of the details of this units activities are still uncovered.

This webpage was set up to collect and organize the information known to date about Unit 731 and present it to anyone interested.

Unit 731 Complex

For 40 years, the horrific activities of Unit 731 remained one the most closely guarded secrets of World War II. It was not until 1984 that Japan acknowledged what it had long denied vile experiments on humans conducted by the unit in preparation for germ warfare.

Deliberately infected with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens, an estimated 3,000 of enemy soldiers and civilians were used as guinea pigs. Some of the more horrific experiments included vivisection without anesthesia and pressure chambers to see how much a human could take before his eyes popped out.

Unit 731 was set up in 1938 in Japanese-occupied China with the aim of developing biological weapons. It also operated a secret research and experimental school in Shinjuku, central Tokyo. Its head was Lieutenant Shiro Ishii.

The unit was supported by Japanese universities and medical schools which supplied doctors and research staff. The picture now emerging about its activities is horrifying.

Manchurian Plaguev ictims 1910-1911

According to reports never officially admitted by the Japanese authorities, the unit used thousands of Chinese and other Asian civilians and wartime prisoners as human guinea pigs to breed and develop killer diseases.

Many of the prisoners, who were murdered in the name of research, were used in hideous vivisection and other medical experiments, including barbaric trials to determine the effect of frostbite on the human body.

To ease the conscience of those involved, the prisoners were referred to not as people or patients but as Maruta, or wooden logs. Before Japans surrender, the site of the experiments was completely destroyed, so that no evidence is left.

Then, the remaining 400 prisoners were shot and employees of the unit had to swear secrecy. The mice kept in the laboratory were then released, which could have cost the lives of 30,000 people, since the mice were infected with the bubonic plague, and they spread the disease.

Few of those involved with Unit 731 have admitted their guilt.

Some caught in China at the end of the war were arrested and detained, but only a handful of them were prosecuted for war crimes.

In Japan, not one was brought to justice. In a secret deal, the post-war American administration gave them immunity for prosecution in return for details of their experiments.

Some of the worst criminals, including Hisato Yoshimura, who was in charge of the frostbite experiments, went on to occupy key medical and other posts in public and private sectors.

Read more from the original source:

UNIT 731 Japan’s Biological Warfare Project

Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Biological warfare (BW)also known as germ warfareis the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons (often termed “bio-weapons”, “biological threat agents”, or “bio-agents”) are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses, which are not universally considered “alive”) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these is a conventional weapon, which are deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.

Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some of the chemical weapons, biological weapons may also be useful as area denial weapons. These agents may be lethal or non-lethal, and may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or even an entire population. They may be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.[1]

Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are often referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are typically characterized by shorter incubation periods.[2]

The use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law,[3] as well as a variety of international treaties.[4] The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime.[5]

Offensive biological warfare, including mass production, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The rationale behind this treaty, which has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013,[6] is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.[7] Many countries, including signatories of the BWC, currently pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, which is not prohibited by the BWC.

A nation or group that can pose a credible threat of mass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield.[8][9]

As a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore might not immediately stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets. This feature can be undesirable, as the agent(s) may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or even friendly forces. While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of virtually all nations.

Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity.[10] During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with a fungus that would render the enemy delirious. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of approximately 25 million Europeans.[11][12][13][14]

The British Army are alleged to have used smallpox against Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763.[15][16][17] An outbreak that left as many as one hundred Native Americans dead in Ohio Country was reported in 1764. The spread of the disease weakened the natives’ resistance to the British troops led by Henry Bouquet. It is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[18][19] It has been claimed that the British Marines used smallpox in New South Wales in 1789.[20]

By 1900 the germ theory and advances in bacteriology brought a new level of sophistication to the techniques for possible use of bio-agents in war. Biological sabotagein the form of anthrax and glanderswas undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government during World War I (19141918), with indifferent results.[21] The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons.[22]

With the onset of World War II, the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom established a BW program at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, was contaminated with anthrax during a series of extensive tests for the next 56 years. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[23] Other nations, notably France and Japan, had begun their own biological weapons programs.[24]

When the United States entered the war, Allied resources were pooled at the request of the British and the U.S. established a large research program and industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[25] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[26]

The most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[27] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns.[28] In 1940, the Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[29] Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems,[27] although up to 400,000 people may have died.[30] During the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in 1942, around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their own biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces.[31][32]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. The plan was set to launch on 22 September 1945, but it was not executed because of Japan’s surrender on 15 August 1945.[33][34][35][36]

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses, but the programme was unilaterally cancelled in 1956. The United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever and others.[37]

In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated production of biological weapons, allowing only scientific research for defensive measures. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. However, the Soviet Union continued research and production of massive offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention.[38] By 2011, 165 countries had signed the treaty and none are proventhough nine are still suspected[39]to possess offensive BW programs.[39]

Biological weapons are difficult to detect, economical and easy to use, making them appeal to the terrorists. The cost of a biological weapon is estimated to be about 0.05 percent the cost of a conventional weapon in order to produce similar numbers of mass casualties per kilometer square.[40] Moreover, their production is very easy as common technology can be used to produce biological warfare, like that used in production of vaccines, foods, spray devices, beverages and antibiotics. A major factor about biological warfare that attracts terrorists is that they can easily escape, before the government agencies or secret agencies have even started their investigation. This is because the potential organism has incubation period of 3 to 7 days, after which the results begin to appear, thereby giving the terrorists a lead.

A technique called Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) is now so cheap and widely available that scientists fear that the amateurs will start experimenting with them. In this technique, a DNA sequence is cut off and replaced with a new sequence or code that codes for a particular protein or characteristic, which could potentially show up in the required organism. Though this technique is a breakthrough and is commendable, it can cause serious issues and potential danger if used by people with wrong intentions. Concerns have emerged regarding Do-it-yourself biology research organizations due to their associated risk that a rogue amateur DIY researcher could attempt to develop dangerous bioweapons using genome editing technology.[41]

In 2002, when CNN went through Al-Qaeda’s (AQ’s) experiments with crude poisons, they found out that the AQ associated had begun planning ricin and cyanide attacks with the help of a loose association of cells.[42] The associates had infiltrated many countries like Turkey, Italy, Spain, France and others. In 2015, to combat the threat of bioterrorism, a National Blueprint for Biodefense was issued by the Blue-Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.[43] Also, 233 potential exposures of select biological agents outside of the primary barriers of the biocontainment in the US were described by the annual report of the Federal Select Agent Program.[44]

Though a verification system can reduce bioterrorism, an employee or a lone terrorist having adequate knowledge of the company plants, can cause potential danger by injecting a deadly or harmful substance into the plant. Moreover, it has been found that about 95% of accidents that have occurred due to low security have been done by employees or those who had security clearance.[45]

It has been argued that rational state actors would never use biological weapons offensively. The argument is that biological weapons cannot be controlled: the weapon could backfire and harm the army on the offensive, perhaps having even worse effects than on the target. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user’s home country. However, this argument does not necessarily apply to bacteria. For example, anthrax can easily be controlled and even created in a garden shed; the FBI suspects it can be done for as little as $2,500 using readily available laboratory equipment.[46] Also, using microbial methods, bacteria can be suitably modified to be effective in only a narrow environmental range, the range of the target that distinctly differs from the army on the offensive. Thus only the target might be affected adversely. The weapon may be further used to bog down an advancing army making them more vulnerable to counterattack by the defending force.

Ideal characteristics of a biological agent to be used as a weapon against humans are high infectivity, high virulence, non-availability of vaccines, and availability of an effective and efficient delivery system. Stability of the weaponized agent (ability of the agent to retain its infectivity and virulence after a prolonged period of storage) may also be desirable, particularly for military applications, and the ease of creating one is often considered. Control of the spread of the agent may be another desired characteristic.

The primary difficulty is not the production of the biological agent, as many biological agents used in weapons can often be manufactured relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. Rather, it is the weaponization, storage and delivery in an effective vehicle to a vulnerable target that pose significant problems.

For example, Bacillus anthracis is considered an effective agent for several reasons. First, it forms hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, this organism is not considered transmissible from person to person, and thus rarely if ever causes secondary infections. A pulmonary anthrax infection starts with ordinary influenza-like symptoms and progresses to a lethal hemorrhagic mediastinitis within 37 days, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher in untreated patients.[47] Finally, friendly personnel can be protected with suitable antibiotics.

Agents considered for weaponization, or known to be weaponized, include bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, some of the Rickettsiaceae (especially Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii), Shigella spp., Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia pestis. Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Marburg virus, Variola virus, and Yellow fever virus. Fungal agents that have been studied include Coccidioides spp..[48][49]

Toxins that can be used as weapons include ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, botulinum toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. These toxins and the organisms that produce them are sometimes referred to as select agents. In the United States, their possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Select Agent Program.

The former US biological warfare program categorized its weaponized anti-personnel bio-agents as either Lethal Agents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Botulinum toxin) or Incapacitating Agents (Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B).

Anti-crop/anti-vegetation/anti-fisheries;

The United States developed an anti-crop capability during the Cold War that used plant diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying enemy agriculture. Biological weapons also target fisheries as well as water-based vegetation. It was believed that destruction of enemy agriculture on a strategic scale could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in a general war. Diseases such as wheat blast and rice blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy watersheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among plants). When the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these plant diseases.[citation needed] Enterotoxins and Mycotoxins were not affected by Nixon’s order.

Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with biological warfare and chemical warfare because they may work in a similar manner as biotoxins or bioregulators. The Army Biological Laboratory tested each agent and the Army’s Technical Escort Unit was responsible for transport of all chemical, biological, radiological (nuclear) materials. Scorched earth tactics or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam war (cf. Agent Orange)[50] and Eelam War in Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to destroy crops or defoliate vegetation. The United States and Britain discovered plant growth regulators (i.e., herbicides) during the Second World War, and initiated a herbicidal warfare program that was eventually used in Malaya and Vietnam in counterinsurgency operations.

In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had successfully developed variants of foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks attached to airplanes over hundreds of miles. The secret program was code-named “Ecology”.[48]

During the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used to kill cattle.[51]

Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program. EW may employ insects in a direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague. Essentially, EW exists in three varieties. One type of EW involves infecting insects with a pathogen and then dispersing the insects over target areas.[52] The insects then act as a vector, infecting any person or animal they might bite. Another type of EW is a direct insect attack against crops; the insect may not be infected with any pathogen but instead represents a threat to agriculture. The final method uses uninfected insects, such as bees, wasps, etc., to directly attack the enemy.[53]

In 2010 at The Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction in Geneva[54] the sanitary epidemiological reconnaissance was suggested as well-tested means for enhancing the monitoring of infections and parasitic agents, for practical implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The aim was to prevent and minimize the consequences of natural outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases as well as the threat of alleged use of biological weapons against BTWC States Parties.

It is important to note that most classical and modern biological weapons’ pathogens can be obtained from a plant or an animal which is naturally infected.[55]

Indeed, in the largest biological weapons accident knownthe anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979sheep became ill with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the release point of the organism from a military facility in the southeastern portion of the city and still off limits to visitors today, (see Sverdlovsk Anthrax leak).[56]

Thus, a robust surveillance system involving human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons attack early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of people (and/or animals) exposed but not yet ill.

For example, in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 2436 hours after an attack, some small percentage of individuals (those with compromised immune system or who had received a large dose of the organism due to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs (including a virtually unique chest X-ray finding, often recognized by public health officials if they receive timely reports).[57] The incubation period for humans is estimated to be about 11.8 days to 12.1 days. This suggested period is the first model that is independently consistent with data from the largest known human outbreak. These projections refines previous estimates of the distribution of early onset cases after a release and supports a recommended 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for individuals exposed to low doses of anthrax.[58] By making these data available to local public health officials in real time, most models of anthrax epidemics indicate that more than 80% of an exposed population can receive antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the moderately high mortality of the disease.[57]

From most specific to least specific:[59]

The goal of biodefense is to integrate the sustained efforts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Health care providers and public health officers are among the first lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (state) capabilities are being augmented by and coordinated with federal assets, to provide layered defenses against biological weapon attacks. During the first Gulf War the United Nations activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Force Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians.

The traditional approach toward protecting agriculture, food, and water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by focused efforts to address current and anticipated future biological weapons threats that may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.

The growing threat of biowarfare agents and bioterrorism has led to the development of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis and identification of encountered suspect materials. One such technology, being developed by researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), employs a “sandwich immunoassay”, in which fluorescent dye-labeled antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are attached to silver and gold nanowires.[60]

In the Netherlands, the company TNO has designed Bioaerosol Single Particle Recognition eQuipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for bioweapon attacks in the Netherlands.[61]

Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel are developing a different device called the BioPen, essentially a “Lab-in-a-Pen”, which can detect known biological agents in under 20 minutes using an adaptation of the ELISA, a similar widely employed immunological technique, that in this case incorporates fiber optics.[62]

Theoretically, novel approaches in biotechnology, such as synthetic biology could be used in the future to design novel types of biological warfare agents.[63][64][65][66] Special attention has to be laid on future experiments (of concern) that:[67]

Most of the biosecurity concerns in synthetic biology, however, are focused on the role of DNA synthesis and the risk of producing genetic material of lethal viruses (e.g. 1918 Spanish flu, polio) in the lab.[68][69][70] Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as a promising technique for gene editing. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “the most important innovation in the synthetic biology space in nearly 30 years.”[71] While other methods take months or years to edit gene sequences, CRISPR speeds that time up to weeks.[71] However, due to its ease of use and accessibility, it has raised a number of ethical concerns, especially surrounding its use in the biohacking space.[71][72][73]

(passim)

Bioweaponeers:

Writers and activists:

See the original post here:

Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Unit 731 – Wikipedia

Unit 731 (Japanese: 731, Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (19371945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Imperial Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China).

It was officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army (, Kantgun Beki Kysuibu Honbu). Originally set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit 731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shiro Ishii, a combat medic officer in the Kwantung Army. The facility itself was built between 1934 and 1939 and officially adopted the name “Unit 731” in 1941.

At least 3,000 men, women, and children[1][2]from which at least 600 every year were provided by the Kempeitai[3]were subjected as “logs” to experimentation conducted by Unit 731 at the camp based in Pingfang alone, which does not include victims from other medical experimentation sites, such as Unit 100.[4]

Unit 731 participants of Japan attest that most of the victims they experimented on were Chinese while a lesser percentage were Soviet, Mongolian, Korean, and other Allied POWs. The unit received generous support from the Japanese government up to the end of the war in 1945.

Instead of being tried for war crimes after the war, the researchers involved in Unit 731 were secretly given immunity by the U.S. in exchange for the data they gathered through human experimentation.[5] Other researchers that the Soviet forces managed to arrest first were tried at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in 1949. The Americans did not try the researchers so that the information and experience gained in bio-weapons could be co-opted into the U.S. biological warfare program, as had happened with Nazi researchers in Operation Paperclip.[6] On 6 May 1947, Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, wrote to Washington that “additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as ‘War Crimes’ evidence.”.[5] Victim accounts were then largely ignored or dismissed in the West as communist propaganda.[7]

In 1932, Surgeon General Shir Ishii ( Ishii Shir), chief medical officer of the Japanese Army and protg of Army Minister Sadao Araki was placed in a command of the Army Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory (AEPRL). Ishii organized a secret research group, the “Tg Unit”, for various chemical and biological experimentation in Manchuria. Ishii had proposed the creation of a Japanese biological and chemical research unit in 1930, after a two-year study trip abroad, on the grounds that Western powers were developing their own programs. One of Ishii’s main supporters inside the army was Colonel Chikahiko Koizumi, who later became Japan’s Health Minister from 1941 to 1945. Koizumi had joined a secret poison gas research committee in 1915, during World War I, when he and other Imperial Japanese Army officers became impressed by the successful German use of chlorine gas at the second battle of Ypres, where the Allies suffered 15,000 casualties as a result of the chemical attack.[8]

Unit Tg was implemented in the Zhongma Fortress, a prison/experimentation camp in Beiyinhe, a village 100km (62mi) south of Harbin on the South Manchuria Railway. A jailbreak in autumn 1934 and later explosion (believed to be an attack) in 1935 led Ishii to shut down Zhongma Fortress. He received the authorization to move to Pingfang, approximately 24km (15mi) south of Harbin, to set up a new and much larger facility.[9]

In 1936, Emperor Hirohito authorized by decree the expansion of this unit and its integration into the Kwantung Army as the Epidemic Prevention Department.[10] It was divided at the same time into the “Ishii Unit” and “Wakamatsu Unit” with a base in Hsinking. From August 1940, the units were known collectively as the “Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army ()”[11] or “Unit 731” (731) for short. In addition to the establishment of Unit 731, the decree also called for the establishment of an additional biological warfare development unit called the Kwantung Army Military Horse Epidemic Prevention Workshop (later referred to as Manchuria Unit 100) and a chemical warfare development unit called the Kwantung Army Technical Testing Department. (later referred to as Manchuria Unit 516) After Japanese expansion throughout China in 1937, sister chemical and biological warfare units were founded in major Chinese cities, and were referred to as Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Units. Detachments included Unit 1855 in Beijing, Unit 1644 in Nanjing, Unit 8604 in Guangzhou and later, Unit 9420 in Singapore. The compilation of all these units comprised Ishiis network, and at its height in 1939, was composed of more than 10,000 personnel.[12]

Medical doctors and professors from Japan were attracted to join Unit 731 by the rare opportunity to conduct human experimentation and strong financial support from the Army.[13]

A special project code-named Maruta used human beings for experiments. Test subjects were gathered from the surrounding population and were sometimes referred to euphemistically as “logs” (, maruta), used in such contexts as “How many logs fell?”. This term originated as a joke on the part of the staff because the official cover story for the facility given to the local authorities was that it was a lumber mill. However, in an account by a man who worked as a junior uniformed civilian employee of the Imperial Japanese Army in Unit 731, the project was internally called “Holzklotz”, which is a German word for log.[14] In a further parallel, the corpses of “sacrificed” subjects were disposed of by incineration.[15] Researchers in Unit 731 also published some of their results in peer-reviewed journals, writing as though the research had been conducted on non-human primates called “Manchurian monkeys” or “long-tailed monkeys”.[16]

The test subjects were selected to give a wide cross-section of the population and included common criminals, captured bandits and anti-Japanese partisans, political prisoners and also people rounded up by the Kempeitai military police for alleged “suspicious activities”. They included infants, the elderly, and pregnant women. The members of the unit, approximately three hundred researchers, included doctors and bacteriologists; most were Japanese, although some were Chinese and Korean collaborators.[17] Many had been desensitized to performing unpleasant experiments from experience in animal research.[18]

Thousands of men, women, children, and infants interned at prisoner of war camps were subjected to vivisection, often without anesthesia and usually ending with the death of the victim.[19][20] Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases. Researchers performed invasive surgery on prisoners, removing organs to study the effects of disease on the human body. These were conducted while the patients were alive because it was thought that the death of the subject would affect the results.[21]

Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss. Those limbs that were removed were sometimes re-attached to the opposite sides of the body. Some prisoners had their stomachs surgically removed and the esophagus reattached to the intestines. Parts of organs, such as the brain, lungs, and liver, were removed from some prisoners.[20] Imperial Japanese Army surgeon Ken Yuasa suggests that the practice of vivisection on human subjects (mostly Chinese communists) was widespread even outside Unit 731,[22] estimating that at least 1,000 Japanese personnel were involved in the practice in mainland China.[23]

Prisoners were injected with diseases, disguised as vaccinations,[24] to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhoea, then studied. Prisoners were also repeatedly subject to rape by guards.[25]

Plague fleas, infected clothing and infected supplies encased in bombs were dropped on various targets. The resulting cholera, anthrax, and plague were estimated to have killed around and possibly more than 400,000 Chinese civilians.[26] Tularemia was tested on Chinese civilians.[27]

Unit 731 and its affiliated units (Unit 1644 and Unit 100 among others) were involved in research, development and experimental deployment of epidemic-creating biowarfare weapons in assaults against the Chinese populace (both civilian and military) throughout World War II. Plague-infected fleas, bred in the laboratories of Unit 731 and Unit 1644, were spread by low-flying airplanes upon Chinese cities, including coastal Ningbo in 1940, and Changde, Hunan Province, in 1941. This military aerial spraying killed thousands of people with bubonic plague epidemics.[28]

It is possible that Unit 731’s methods and objectives were also followed in Indonesia, in a case of a failed experiment designed to validate a synthesized tetanus toxoid vaccine.[29]

Physiologist Yoshimura Hisato conducted experiments by taking captives outside, dipping various appendages into water, and allowing the limb to freeze. Once frozen, which testimony from a Japanese officer said “was determined after the ‘frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck'”,[30] ice was chipped away and the area doused in water. The effects of different water temperatures were tested by bludgeoning the victim to determine if any areas were still frozen. Variations of these tests in more gruesome forms were performed.

Doctors orchestrated forced sex acts between infected and non-infected prisoners to transmit the disease, as the testimony of a prison guard on the subject of devising a method for transmission of syphilis between patients shows:

“Infection of venereal disease by injection was abandoned, and the researchers started forcing the prisoners into sexual acts with each other. Four or five unit members, dressed in white laboratory clothing completely covering the body with only eyes and mouth visible, handled the tests. A male and female, one infected with syphilis, would be brought together in a cell and forced into sex with each other. It was made clear that anyone resisting would be shot.”[31]

After victims were infected, they were vivisected at different stages of infection, so that internal and external organs could be observed as the disease progressed. Testimony from multiple guards blames the female victims as being hosts of the diseases, even as they were forcibly infected. Genitals of female prisoners that were infected with syphilis were called “jam filled buns” by guards.[32]

Some children grew up inside the walls of Unit 731, infected with syphilis. A Youth Corps member deployed to train at Unit 731 recalled viewing a batch of subjects that would undergo syphilis testing: “one was a Chinese woman holding an infant, one was a White Russian woman with a daughter of four or five years of age, and the last was a White Russian woman with a boy of about six or seven.”[32] The children of these women were tested in ways similar to their parents, with specific emphasis on determining how longer infection periods affected the effectiveness of treatments.

Female prisoners were forced to become pregnant for use in experiments. The hypothetical possibility of vertical transmission (from mother to child) of diseases, particularly syphilis, was the stated reason for the torture. Fetal survival and damage to mother’s reproductive organs were objects of interest. Though “a large number of babies were born in captivity”, there have been no accounts of any survivors of Unit 731, children included. It is suspected that the children of female prisoners were killed or the pregnancies terminated.[32]

While male prisoners were often used in single studies, so that the results of the experimentation on them would not be clouded by other variables, women were sometimes used in bacteriological or physiological experiments, sex experiments, and as the victims of sex crimes. The testimony of a unit member that served as guard graphically demonstrated this reality:

“One of the former researchers I located told me that one day he had a human experiment scheduled, but there was still time to kill. So he and another unit member took the keys to the cells and opened one that housed a Chinese woman. One of the unit members raped her; the other member took the keys and opened another cell. There was a Chinese woman in there who had been used in a frostbite experiment. She had several fingers missing and her bones were black, with gangrene set in. He was about to rape her anyway, then he saw that her sex organ was festering, with pus oozing to the surface. He gave up the idea, left and locked the door, then later went on to his experimental work.”[32]

Human targets were used to test grenades positioned at various distances and in different positions. Flamethrowers were tested on humans. Humans were also tied to stakes and used as targets to test germ-releasing bombs, chemical weapons, and explosive bombs.[33][34]

In other tests, subjects were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death; placed into high-pressure chambers until death; experimented upon to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival; placed into centrifuges and spun until death; injected with animal blood; exposed to lethal doses of x-rays; subjected to various chemical weapons inside gas chambers; injected with sea water; and burned or buried alive.[35]

Japanese researchers performed tests on prisoners with bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, botulism, and other diseases.[36] This research led to the development of the defoliation bacilli bomb and the flea bomb used to spread bubonic plague.[37] Some of these bombs were designed with porcelain shells, an idea proposed by Ishii in 1938.

These bombs enabled Japanese soldiers to launch biological attacks, infecting agriculture, reservoirs, wells, and other areas with anthrax, plague-carrier fleas, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and other deadly pathogens. During biological bomb experiments, researchers dressed in protective suits would examine the dying victims. Infected food supplies and clothing were dropped by airplane into areas of China not occupied by Japanese forces. In addition, poisoned food and candies were given to unsuspecting victims, and the results examined.

In 2002, Changde, China, site of the flea spraying attack, held an “International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare” which estimated that at least 580,000 people died as a result of the attack.[38] The historian Sheldon Harris claims that 200,000 died.[39] In addition to Chinese casualties, 1,700 Japanese in Chekiang were killed by their own biological weapons while attempting to unleash the biological agent, indicating serious issues with distribution.[1]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against San Diego, California. The plan was scheduled to launch on September 22, 1945, but Japan surrendered five weeks earlier.[40][41][42][43]

According to A.S. Wells, the majority of victims were mostly Chinese (including accused “bandits” and “Communists”), Korean, and Soviet, although they may also have included European, American, and Australian prisoners of war.[44]

Unit 731 participants of Japan attest that most of the victims they experimented on were Chinese[22] while a small percentage were Soviet, Mongolian, Korean, and other Allied POWs.[45] Almost 70% of the victims who died in the Pingfang camp were Chinese, including both civilian and military.[46] Close to 30% of the victims were Soviet.[47] Some others were Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, at the time colonies of the Empire of Japan, and a small number of Allied prisoners of war.[48]

Robert Peaty (19031989), a British Major in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was the senior ranking allied officer. During this time, he kept a secret diary. A copy of his entire diary exists in the NARA archives.[49] An extract of the diary is available at the UK National Archives at Kew.[50] He was interviewed by the Imperial War Museum in 1981, and the audio recording tape reels are in the IWM’s archives.[51]

In April 2018, the National Archives of Japan for the first time disclosed a nearly-complete list of 3607 people who worked for Unit 731 to Dr. Katsuo Nishiyama of the Shiga University of Medical Science, who says that he intends to publish the list online.[52]

Unit 731 was divided into eight divisions:

The Unit 731 complex covered six square kilometres (2.3 square miles) and consisted of more than 150 buildings. The design of the facilities made them hard to destroy by bombing. The complex contained various factories. It had around 4,500 containers to be used to raise fleas, six cauldrons to produce various chemicals, and around 1,800 containers to produce biological agents. Approximately 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of bubonic plague bacteria could be produced in a few days.

Some of Unit 731’s satellite facilities are in use by various Chinese industrial concerns. A portion has been preserved and is open to visitors as a War Crimes Museum.

A medical school and research facility belonging to Unit 731 operated in the Shinjuku District of Tokyo during World War II. In 2006, Toyo Ishiia nurse who worked at the school during the warrevealed that she had helped bury bodies and pieces of bodies on the school’s grounds shortly after Japan’s surrender in 1945. In response, in February 2011 the Ministry of Health began to excavate the site.[54]

China requested DNA samples from any human remains discovered at the site. The Japanese governmentwhich has never officially acknowledged the atrocities committed by Unit 731rejected the request.[55]

The related Unit 8604 was operated by the Japanese Southern China Area Army and stationed at Guangzhou (Canton). This installation conducted human experimentation in food and water deprivation as well as water-borne typhus. According to postwar testimony, this facility served as the main rat breeding farm for the medical units to provide them with bubonic plague vectors for experiments.[56]

Unit 731 was part of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department which dealt with contagious disease and water supply generally.

Operations and experiments continued until the end of the war. Ishii had wanted to use biological weapons in the Pacific War since May 1944, but his attempts were repeatedly snubbed.

With the coming of the Red Army in August 1945, the unit had to abandon their work in haste. The members and their families fled to Japan.

Ishii ordered every member of the group “to take the secret to the grave”, threatening to find them if they failed, and prohibiting any of them from going into public work back in Japan. Potassium cyanide vials were issued for use in the event that the remaining personnel were captured.

Skeleton crews of Ishii’s Japanese troops blew up the compound in the final days of the war to destroy evidence of their activities, but most were so well constructed that they survived somewhat intact.

Among the individuals in Japan after its 1945 surrender was Lieutenant Colonel Murray Sanders, who arrived in Yokohama via the American ship Sturgess in September 1945. Sanders was a highly regarded microbiologist and a member of America’s military center for biological weapons. Sanders’ duty was to investigate Japanese biological warfare activity. At the time of his arrival in Japan he had no knowledge of what Unit 731 was.[32] Until Sanders finally threatened the Japanese with bringing the Soviets into the picture, little information about biological warfare was being shared with the Americans. The Japanese wanted to avoid prosecution under the Soviet legal system, so the next morning after he made his threat, Sanders received a manuscript describing Japan’s involvement in biological warfare.[57] Sanders took this information to General Douglas MacArthur, who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers responsible for rebuilding Japan during the Allied occupations. MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants[58]he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation.[5] American occupation authorities monitored the activities of former unit members, including reading and censoring their mail.[59] The U.S. believed that the research data was valuable, and did not want other nations, particularly the Soviet Union, to acquire data on biological weapons.[60]

The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal heard only one reference to Japanese experiments with “poisonous serums” on Chinese civilians. This took place in August 1946 and was instigated by David Sutton, assistant to the Chinese prosecutor. The Japanese defense counsel argued that the claim was vague and uncorroborated and it was dismissed by the tribunal president, Sir William Webb, for lack of evidence. The subject was not pursued further by Sutton, who was probably unaware of Unit 731’s activities. His reference to it at the trial is believed to have been accidental.

Although publicly silent on the issue at the Tokyo Trials, the Soviet Union pursued the case and prosecuted twelve top military leaders and scientists from Unit 731 and its affiliated biological-war prisons Unit 1644 in Nanjing, and Unit 100 in Changchun, in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. Included among those prosecuted for war crimes, including germ warfare, was General Otoz Yamada, the commander-in-chief of the million-man Kwantung Army occupying Manchuria.

The trial of those captured Japanese perpetrators was held in Khabarovsk in December 1949. A lengthy partial transcript of the trial proceedings was published in different languages the following year by a Moscow foreign languages press, including an English language edition.[61] The lead prosecuting attorney at the Khabarovsk trial was Lev Smirnov, who had been one of the top Soviet prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials. The Japanese doctors and army commanders who had perpetrated the Unit 731 experiments received sentences from the Khabarovsk court ranging from two to 25 years in a Siberian labor camp. The U.S. refused to acknowledge the trials, branding them communist propaganda.[62] The sentences doled out to the Japanese perpetrators were unusually lenient for Soviet standards, and all but one of the defendants returned to Japan by the 1950s (with the remaining prisoner committing suicide inside his cell). In addition to the accusations of propaganda, the US also asserted that the trials were to only serve as a distraction from the Soviet treatment of several hundred thousand Japanese prisoners of war; meanwhile, the USSR asserted that the US had given the Japanese diplomatic leniency in exchange for information regarding their human experimentation. The accusations of both the US and the USSR were true, and it is believed that they had also exchanged information to the Soviets regarding their biological experimentation for judicial leniency.[63] This was evidenced by the Soviet Union building a biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk using documentation captured from Unit 731 in Manchuria.[64]

As above, under the American occupation the members of Unit 731 and other experimental units were allowed to go free. One graduate of Unit 1644, Masami Kitaoka, continued to do experiments on unwilling Japanese subjects from 1947 to 1956 while working for Japan’s National Institute of Health Sciences. He infected prisoners with rickettsia and mental health patients with typhus.[65]

Shiro Ishii, as the chief of the unit, was granted war crime immunity from the US occupation authorities, because of his provision of human experimentation research materials to the US. From 1948 to 1958, less than 5% of the documents were transferred onto microfilm and stored in the National Archives of the United States, before being shipped back to Japan.[66]

Japanese discussions of Unit 731’s activity began in the 1950s, after the end of the American occupation of Japan. In 1952, human experiments carried out in Nagoya City Pediatric Hospital, which resulted in one death, were publicly tied to former members of Unit 731.[67] Later in that decade, journalists suspected that the murders attributed by the government to Sadamichi Hirasawa were actually carried out by members of Unit 731. In 1958, Japanese author Shsaku End published the book The Sea and Poison about human experimentation, which is thought to have been based on a real incident.

The author Seiichi Morimura published The Devil’s Gluttony () in 1981, followed by The Devil’s Gluttony: A Sequel in 1983. These books purported to reveal the “true” operations of Unit 731, but actually confused them with that of Unit 100, and falsely used unrelated photos attributing them to Unit 731, which raised questions about its accuracy.[68][69]

Also in 1981 appeared the first direct testimony of human vivisection in China, by Ken Yuasa. Since then many more in-depth testimonies have appeared in Japanese. The 2001 documentary Japanese Devils was composed largely of interviews with 14 members of Unit 731 who had been taken as prisoners by China and later released.[70]

Since the end of the Allied occupation, the Japanese government has repeatedly apologized for its pre-war behavior in general, but specific apologies and indemnities are determined on the basis of bilateral determination that crimes occurred, which requires a high standard of evidence. Unit 731 presents a special problem, since unlike Nazi human experimentation which the U.S. publicly condemned, the activities of Unit 731 are known to the general public only from the testimonies of willing former unit members, and testimony cannot be employed to determine indemnity in this way.

Japanese history textbooks usually contain references to Unit 731, but do not go into detail about allegations, in accordance with this principle.[71][72] Sabur Ienaga’s New History of Japan included a detailed description, based on officers’ testimony. The Ministry for Education attempted to remove this passage from his textbook before it was taught in public schools, on the basis that the testimony was insufficient. The Supreme Court of Japan ruled in 1997 that the testimony was indeed sufficient and that requiring it to be removed was an illegal violation of freedom of speech.[73]

In 1997, the international lawyer Knen Tsuchiya filed a class action suit against the Japanese government, demanding reparations for the actions of Unit 731, using evidence filed by Professor Makoto Ueda of Rikkyo University. All Japanese court levels found that the suit was baseless. No findings of fact were made about the existence of human experimentation, but the decision of the court was that reparations are determined by international treaties and not by national court cases.

In October 2003, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan filed an inquiry. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi responded that the Japanese government did not then possess any records related to Unit 731, but the government recognized the gravity of the matter and would publicize any records that were located in the future.[74] In April 2018, the National Archives of Japan released the names of 3,607 members of Unit 731, in response to a request by Professor Katsuo Nishiyama of the Shiga University of Medical Science.[75]

After WWII, the Office of Special Investigations created a watchlist of suspected Axis collaborators and persecutors that are banned from entering the U.S. While they have added over 60,000 names to the watchlist, they have only been able to identify under 100 Japanese participants. In a 1998 correspondence letter between the DOJ and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Eli Rosenbaum, director of OSI, stated that this was due to two factors. (1) While most documents captured by the U.S. in Europe were microfilmed before being returned to their respective governments, the Department of Defense decided to not microfilm its vast collection of documents before returning them back to the Japanese government. (2) The Japanese government has also failed to grant the OSI meaningful access to these and related records after the war, while European countries, on the other hand, have been largely cooperative.[76] The cumulative effect of which is that information pertaining to identifying these individuals is, in effect, impossible to recover.

There have been several films about the atrocities of Unit 731.

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Unit 731 – Wikipedia

Germ Synonyms, Germ Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

mid-15c., “bud, sprout;” 1640s, “rudiment of a new organism in an existing one,” from Middle French germe “germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering,” from Latin germen (genitive germinis) “sprout, bud,” perhaps from PIE root *gen- “to beget, bear” (see genus). The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of “seed of a disease” first recorded 1803; that of “harmful microorganism” dates from 1871. Germ warfare recorded from 1920.

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Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Biological warfare (BW)also known as germ warfareis the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons (often termed “bio-weapons”, “biological threat agents”, or “bio-agents”) are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses, which are not universally considered “alive”) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these is a conventional weapon, which are deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.

Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some of the chemical weapons, biological weapons may also be useful as area denial weapons. These agents may be lethal or non-lethal, and may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or even an entire population. They may be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.[1]

Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are often referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are typically characterized by shorter incubation periods.[2]

The use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law,[3] as well as a variety of international treaties.[4] The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime.[5]

Offensive biological warfare, including mass production, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The rationale behind this treaty, which has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013,[6] is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.[7] Many countries, including signatories of the BWC, currently pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, which is not prohibited by the BWC.

A nation or group that can pose a credible threat of mass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield.[8][9]

As a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore might not immediately stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets. This feature can be undesirable, as the agent(s) may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or even friendly forces. While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of virtually all nations.

Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity.[10] During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with a fungus that would render the enemy delirious. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of approximately 25 million Europeans.[11][12][13][14]

The British Army are alleged to have used smallpox against Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763.[15][16][17] An outbreak that left as many as one hundred Native Americans dead in Ohio Country was reported in 1764. The spread of the disease weakened the natives’ resistance to the British troops led by Henry Bouquet. It is not clear, however, whether the smallpox was a result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was already present among the Delaware people.[18][19] It has been claimed that the British Marines used smallpox in New South Wales in 1789.[20]

By 1900 the germ theory and advances in bacteriology brought a new level of sophistication to the techniques for possible use of bio-agents in war. Biological sabotagein the form of anthrax and glanderswas undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government during World War I (19141918), with indifferent results.[21] The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons.[22]

With the onset of World War II, the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom established a BW program at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, was contaminated with anthrax during a series of extensive tests for the next 56 years. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[23] Other nations, notably France and Japan, had begun their own biological weapons programs.[24]

When the USA entered the war, Allied resources were pooled at the request of the British and the U.S. established a large research program and industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[25] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[26]

The most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[27] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns.[28] In 1940, the Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[29] Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems,[27] although up to 400,000 people may have died.[30] During the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in 1942, around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their own biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces.[31][32]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. The plan was set to launch on 22 September 1945, but it was not executed because of Japan’s surrender on 15 August 1945.[33][34][35][36]

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses, but the programme was unilaterally cancelled in 1956. The United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever and others.[37]

In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated production of biological weapons, allowing only scientific research for defensive measures. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. However, the Soviet Union continued research and production of massive offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention.[38] By 2011, 165 countries had signed the treaty and none are proventhough nine are still suspected[39]to possess offensive BW programs.[39]

Biological weapons are difficult to detect, economical and easy to use, making them appeal to the terrorists. The cost of a biological weapon is estimated to be about 0.05 percent the cost of a conventional weapon in order to produce similar numbers of mass casualties per kilometer square.[40] Moreover, their production is very easy as common technology can be used to produce biological warfare, like that used in production of vaccines, foods, spray devices, beverages and antibiotics. A major factor about biological warfare that attracts terrorists is that they can easily escape, before the government agencies or secret agencies have even started their investigation. This is because the potential organism has incubation period of 3 to 7 days, after which the results begin to appear, thereby giving the terrorists a lead.

A technique called Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) is now so cheap and widely available that scientists fear that the amateurs will start experimenting with them. In this technique, a DNA sequence is cut off and replaced with a new sequence or code that codes for a particular protein or characteristic, which could potentially show up in the required organism. Though this technique is a breakthrough and is commendable, it can cause serious issues and potential danger if used by people with wrong intentions. Concerns have emerged regarding Do-it-yourself biology research organizations due to their associated risk that a rogue amateur DIY researcher could attempt to develop dangerous bioweapons using genome editing technology.[41]

In 2002, when CNN went through Al-Qaeda’s (AQ’s) experiments with crude poisons, they found out that the AQ associated had begun planning ricin and cyanide attacks with the help of a loose association of cells.[42] The associates had infiltrated many countries like Turkey, Italy, Spain, France and others. In 2015, to combat the threat of bioterrorism, a National Blueprint for Biodefense was issued by the Blue-Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.[43] Also, 233 potential exposures of select biological agents outside of the primary barriers of the biocontainment in the US were described by the annual report of the Federal Select Agent Program.[44]

Though a verification system can reduce bioterrorism, an employee or a lone terrorist having adequate knowledge of the company plants, can cause potential danger by injecting a deadly or harmful substance into the plant. Moreover, it has been found that about 95% of accidents that have occurred due to low security have been done by employees or those who had security clearance.[45]

It has been argued that rational state actors would never use biological weapons offensively. The argument is that biological weapons cannot be controlled: the weapon could backfire and harm the army on the offensive, perhaps having even worse effects than on the target. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user’s home country. However, this argument does not necessarily apply to bacteria. For example, anthrax can easily be controlled and even created in a garden shed; the FBI suspects it can be done for as little as $2,500 using readily available laboratory equipment.[46] Also, using microbial methods, bacteria can be suitably modified to be effective in only a narrow environmental range, the range of the target that distinctly differs from the army on the offensive. Thus only the target might be affected adversely. The weapon may be further used to bog down an advancing army making them more vulnerable to counterattack by the defending force.

Ideal characteristics of a biological agent to be used as a weapon against humans are high infectivity, high virulence, non-availability of vaccines, and availability of an effective and efficient delivery system. Stability of the weaponized agent (ability of the agent to retain its infectivity and virulence after a prolonged period of storage) may also be desirable, particularly for military applications, and the ease of creating one is often considered. Control of the spread of the agent may be another desired characteristic.

The primary difficulty is not the production of the biological agent, as many biological agents used in weapons can often be manufactured relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. Rather, it is the weaponization, storage and delivery in an effective vehicle to a vulnerable target that pose significant problems.

For example, Bacillus anthracis is considered an effective agent for several reasons. First, it forms hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, this organism is not considered transmissible from person to person, and thus rarely if ever causes secondary infections. A pulmonary anthrax infection starts with ordinary influenza-like symptoms and progresses to a lethal hemorrhagic mediastinitis within 37 days, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher in untreated patients.[47] Finally, friendly personnel can be protected with suitable antibiotics.

Agents considered for weaponization, or known to be weaponized, include bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, some of the Rickettsiaceae (especially Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii), Shigella spp., Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia pestis. Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Marburg virus, Variola virus, and Yellow fever virus. Fungal agents that have been studied include Coccidioides spp..[48][49]

Toxins that can be used as weapons include ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, botulinum toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. These toxins and the organisms that produce them are sometimes referred to as select agents. In the United States, their possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Select Agent Program.

The former US biological warfare program categorized its weaponized anti-personnel bio-agents as either Lethal Agents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Botulinum toxin) or Incapacitating Agents (Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B).

Anti-crop/anti-vegetation/anti-fisheries;

The United States developed an anti-crop capability during the Cold War that used plant diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying enemy agriculture. Biological weapons also target fisheries as well as water-based vegetation. It was believed that destruction of enemy agriculture on a strategic scale could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in a general war. Diseases such as wheat blast and rice blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy watersheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among plants). When the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these plant diseases.[citation needed] Enterotoxins and Mycotoxins were not affected by Nixon’s order.

Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with biological warfare and chemical warfare because they may work in a similar manner as biotoxins or bioregulators. The Army Biological Laboratory tested each agent and the Army’s Technical Escort Unit was responsible for transport of all chemical, biological, radiological (nuclear) materials. Scorched earth tactics or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam war (cf. Agent Orange)[50] and Eelam War in Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to destroy crops or defoliate vegetation. The United States and Britain discovered plant growth regulators (i.e., herbicides) during the Second World War, and initiated a herbicidal warfare program that was eventually used in Malaya and Vietnam in counterinsurgency operations.

In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had successfully developed variants of foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks attached to airplanes over hundreds of miles. The secret program was code-named “Ecology”.[48]

During the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used to kill cattle.[51]

Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program. EW may employ insects in a direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague. Essentially, EW exists in three varieties. One type of EW involves infecting insects with a pathogen and then dispersing the insects over target areas.[52] The insects then act as a vector, infecting any person or animal they might bite. Another type of EW is a direct insect attack against crops; the insect may not be infected with any pathogen but instead represents a threat to agriculture. The final method uses uninfected insects, such as bees, wasps, etc., to directly attack the enemy.[53]

In 2010 at The Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction in Geneva[54] the sanitary epidemiological reconnaissance was suggested as well-tested means for enhancing the monitoring of infections and parasitic agents, for practical implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The aim was to prevent and minimize the consequences of natural outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases as well as the threat of alleged use of biological weapons against BTWC States Parties.

It is important to note that most classical and modern biological weapons’ pathogens can be obtained from a plant or an animal which is naturally infected.[55]

Indeed, in the largest biological weapons accident knownthe anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979sheep became ill with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the release point of the organism from a military facility in the southeastern portion of the city and still off limits to visitors today, (see Sverdlovsk Anthrax leak).[56]

Thus, a robust surveillance system involving human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons attack early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of people (and/or animals) exposed but not yet ill.

For example, in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 2436 hours after an attack, some small percentage of individuals (those with compromised immune system or who had received a large dose of the organism due to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs (including a virtually unique chest X-ray finding, often recognized by public health officials if they receive timely reports).[57] The incubation period for humans is estimated to be about 11.8 days to 12.1 days. This suggested period is the first model that is independently consistent with data from the largest known human outbreak. These projections refines previous estimates of the distribution of early onset cases after a release and supports a recommended 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for individuals exposed to low doses of anthrax.[58] By making these data available to local public health officials in real time, most models of anthrax epidemics indicate that more than 80% of an exposed population can receive antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the moderately high mortality of the disease.[57]

From most specific to least specific:[59]

The goal of biodefense is to integrate the sustained efforts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Health care providers and public health officers are among the first lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (state) capabilities are being augmented by and coordinated with federal assets, to provide layered defenses against biological weapon attacks. During the first Gulf War the United Nations activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Force Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians.

The traditional approach toward protecting agriculture, food, and water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by focused efforts to address current and anticipated future biological weapons threats that may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.

The growing threat of biowarfare agents and bioterrorism has led to the development of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis and identification of encountered suspect materials. One such technology, being developed by researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), employs a “sandwich immunoassay”, in which fluorescent dye-labeled antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are attached to silver and gold nanowires.[60]

In the Netherlands, the company TNO has designed Bioaerosol Single Particle Recognition eQuipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for bioweapon attacks in the Netherlands.[61]

Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel are developing a different device called the BioPen, essentially a “Lab-in-a-Pen”, which can detect known biological agents in under 20 minutes using an adaptation of the ELISA, a similar widely employed immunological technique, that in this case incorporates fiber optics.[62]

Theoretically, novel approaches in biotechnology, such as synthetic biology could be used in the future to design novel types of biological warfare agents.[63][64][65][66] Special attention has to be laid on future experiments (of concern) that:[67]

Most of the biosecurity concerns in synthetic biology, however, are focused on the role of DNA synthesis and the risk of producing genetic material of lethal viruses (e.g. 1918 Spanish flu, polio) in the lab.[68][69][70] Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as a promising technique for gene editing. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “the most important innovation in the synthetic biology space in nearly 30 years.”[71] While other methods take months or years to edit gene sequences, CRISPR speeds that time up to weeks.[71] However, due to its ease of use and accessibility, it has raised a number of ethical concerns, especially surrounding its use in the biohacking space.[71][72][73]

(passim)

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Biological warfare – Wikipedia

Germ warfare – definition of germ warfare by The Free …

.

The use of injurious microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, as weapons in warfare.

(Military) the military use of disease-spreading bacteria against an enemy. Also called: bacteriological warfare

the use in war of pathogenic organisms or toxins to disable an enemy or destroy resources.

[194550]

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GERM WARFARE – Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning

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