Complete Bioterrorism Survival Guide
The copying of the DNA is not always perfect. The children are therefore not always identical to the parent. If the children are viable this will lead to an increase in variety. Such an increase can also result from a prokaryotic cell transferring some of its DNA to another, possibly of a different type, such that the recipient's DNA is modified. Another source of variation is DNA damage. This can be caused by chemical attack, by solar ultraviolet radiation, and by energetic particles and gamma rays from space. Yet another cause is processes internal to the cell that cause segments of DNA to be moved to another location in the molecule. All these DNA changes are called mutations.
Obviously, machines like these would also have great appeal for the military. Engineers at iRobot, the firm set up by Rodney Brooks, are already at work on developing a team of small automata capable of patrolling inside buildings and defusing any explosive devices they might find. American scientists from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are taking a close interest. In 1998, they challenged roboticians to come up with tiny user-friendly reconnaissance robots that could be part of troops' basic kit. To make things interesting for them, DARPA devised a dramatic scenario a group of terrorists seizes a building and takes all the people inside hostage (they have of course blocked all entrances and masked all the windows) but what they don't know is that an army of little robots, all equipped with microphones and cine-cameras, or even chemical or biological detection devices, has been surreptitiously introduced via the ventilation system and is busy informing the...
When traveling to the Kabayan jungle on the island of Luzon, the Philippines, not only was the road treacherous, security was also a critical issue. As previously mentioned, for this expedition, two Philippine army personnel joined the research team for protection from the environment and potential attacks from terrorists. Fortunately, the soldiers were also willing to help carry the imaging gear, which included a gasoline-powered generator that was required to conduct the research within the caves that served as burial tombs for the ancient Ibaloi people.
We had finished our interviews at the Senckenberg Museum and were having coffee with Professor Reischel of Karlsruhe in the administrative offices when Dr Peters telephoned with the shocking news of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Chaos has broken loose in the free world, and it will now be very difficult for us to fly to the USA in the next few days, as we had planned.
''I think there's been a little bit of denial that NASA, at least in the Shuttle programme, has modified its organisational structure over the years into one that no longer contains the attributes that they built their reputations on,'' said CAIB chairman Hal Gehman, a retired US Navy admiral who had also led the Pentagon's inquiry into the USS Cole terrorist bombing in Yemen in 2000. ''There may be some people who deny that, but the Board is absolutely convinced that the management team they have right now is not capable of safely operating the Shuttle over the long term.''
Up in some tight spots, Lucky and Bigman always managed to blind the crooks with science and reason, ultimately insuring that peace would guide the planets. I eagerly devoured Lucky's battles with saboteurs under the big Sun of Mercury, terrorists on Mars, pirates out among the asteroids, interstellar invaders in the rings of Saturn, and mind-controlling aliens beneath the oceans of Venus.
Application of scientific methods can soon show that a hypothesis for a proposed cause of death can be tested, at least partially, for its probability through observations made in modern, natural settings. For example, predation, the hunting of a live animal (prey) by another (predator) for the purposes of killing and eating that animal, has been overstated in its importance in the deaths of terrestrial vertebrates. A study of modern hyena predation in Africa reported that only 1 to 2 of all animals in a prey population actually died as a result of hyenas hunting them. The same application of actual data to causes of human deaths can also yield surprising results. Despite the fear many people have of dying from bites by poisonous snakes, factual information shows that many more people die each year from allergic reactions to bee-stings (hence the previous allusion to dinosaurs dying in the same manner). Similarly, despite much fear in the USA of terrorist attacks, the actual risks of...
Digression If the cell is short-circuited, the reactions in the half-cells correspond to chemical attack of the metal by acid. The overall cell reaction of (10.21) proceeds from left to right. The metal half-cell is the anode, where oxidation (in the sense of increasing the valence of M) occurs and reaction (10.19) proceeds from left to right. The hydrogen half-cell is the cathode, where protons are reduced to elemental hydrogen, or reaction (10.20) goes from right to left.
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the United States responded with a massive retaliation against Afghanistan, followed by an invasion of Iraq. Except for the names of the some of the weapon systems (such as the F A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, which were subject to counterattack by Stinger missiles), insects played no part in these offensive operations. Defense against terrorism, however, is another story. To prevent future terrorist attacks, the United States developed a staggeringly complex system of technologies and bureaucracies, culminating in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, with an annual operating budget of 40 billion. Systems for detecting explosives, chemical weapons, and biological agents became central to the government's effort. And scientists are coming to understand that no instrument is more finely attuned to the environment, and more keenly responsive to trace chemicals, than the sensory system...
A critical lesson of the last few years is that terrorists can rely on simple weapons box cutters and car bombs. Whether simplicity is a matter of choice or necessity is difficult to know, but the latter is certainly relevant with respect to biological attacks. Without the scientific and technical support of a military-industrial complex, terrorists may be unable to culture and formulate pathogenic organisms into effective weapon systems. Insects, however, offer a low-tech, safe and effective alternative they are easily collected or reared, robust to environmental adversity, and able to disperse on their own. Until recent years, entomological weapons were discounted by some military analysts because of a pair of perceived weaknesses insect invasions were deemed too slow and too imprecise to alter the course of a modern war. But terrorists are engaged in what we might call postmodern warfare. For today's radicals, slow-acting agents are not necessarily a problem. Although military...
Elsewhere in Texas, Gary Hunziker in Plano, just north of Dallas, described his astonishment as he saw ''two bright objects'' - obviously fragments of debris - flying separately on either side of the fast-moving Columbia. Still other eyewitnesses heard loud explosions that were variously likened to rolling thunder, sonic booms or ''a car crashing into my house'' while others imagined that the United States was under imminent attack from terrorists or UFOs. It is perhaps one of the greatest miracles of that horrific day, however, that no one on the ground was killed or seriously injured.
Human reaction to such risk estimates varies greatly, especially since the impact hazard represents such an extreme combination of low probability together with high consequence (Slovic, 1987 Morrison et al., 1994 Morrison et al., 2004). Since no one has been killed by an impact in all of recorded history, it is easy to dismiss the risk as negligible and to regard those who express concern as alarmist. Furthermore, the calculated annual risk of about 1 in a million is near the level at which many persons consider risks to be effectively zero. On the other hand, modern industrial societies spend large sums to protect people from even less likely hazards, ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks to trace quantities of toxins in food and water.
Fortunately, said Buckingham, plenty of contingency time had been purposely built into the rollout schedule and Columbia was securely on the pad by the evening of 28 January. For the second time since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the rollout of the 2-billion national asset was accompanied by strict security as F-15 fighters patrolled an extensive 'no-fly' zone around the KSC area. Final preparations for the previous Shuttle mission, STS-108 in December 2001, had followed a similar protocol.
This time, a crack was found in a 5-cm metal bearing in a propellant line tie rod assembly on board Discovery and triggered an assessment of potential damage. By this time, the STS-107 stack was on the pad and by 14 January 2003 managers were satisfied that Columbia was safe to fly. Like the six Shuttle missions that preceded it, these final preparations were surrounded by intense security - including patrols by F-15 fighters, reconnaissance aircraft and US Army attack helicopters - that NASA had put in place in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001.
Radiation from Earth's Van Allen belts and the Sun does not affect carbon nanotubes, but could degrade certain epoxy materials. Careful selection of the applied materials should avoid problems in this area. Terrorist attacks are a concern, but locating the anchor station at a remote site in the equatorial Pacific and protection by military forces should
Bruno and Kiel (1999) have used electrochemiluminescence to detect anthrax spores. SELEX was used to select and amplify aptamers capable of binding to and detecting non-pathogenic Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores. The method involved the use of an aptamer-magnetic bead-electrochemilumines-cence (AM-ECL) sandwich assay scheme that was able to detect at least three distinct populations of single-stranded DNA aptamers. This, in effect, indicates a detection limit of 106 anthrax spores. Consequently, aptamer biosensors can be useful in biological warfare and bioterrorism detection.
The journey between two bodies in our solar system might take a few months and between two solar systems several million years. The conditions that the seeds or spores would encounter include a high vacuum, exposure to GCRs and SCRs, temperature extremes, dynamical stress, extreme dryness, chemical attack and, of course, solar radiation at various wavelengths.
In today's world, entomological terrorism is not perceived as a clear and present danger. However, historical and recent events strongly suggest that western nations would be well advised to take seriously the possibility that insects could be used to attack people and agriculture. In this context, the United States has developed several lines of defense, but whether these are adequate is not at all clear. With the rule of law insufficient to protect nations from entomological weapons, governments are compelled to invest other resources into defending their people and assets. The general strategy consists of an initial phase that includes deterring, preventing, and detecting an attack, and if these steps fail, the next phase involves responding to and recovering from a strike. For the United States, at least 16 agencies have a stake in agricultural bioterrorism, and this hodgepodge of players approaches two dozen when the possibility of a direct assault on humans is considered.5 In...
For decades, military planners assumed that humans were the most likely targets. But 21st-century conflicts with unconventional enemies create different scenarios for security and defense planners. From a terrorist's perspective, American agriculture has the 3 Vs of a good target valuable, vital, and vulnerable. Food and fiber production accounts for 13 percent of the gross domestic product, a trillion dollars in economic activity, and one in every six jobs in the United States. Without the export of farm products, the nation's trade deficit which is already dangerously out of kilter would slide toward catastrophic imbalance. But agriculture means more than material wealth. From 1906 to 1991, an estimated 553 nonnative organisms successfully settled in the United States, and two-thirds were insects. A complete assessment of the damage done by the invaders has not been attempted, but the 43 insect species for which careful analyses have been conducted account for 93 billion in losses.2...
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