28 October, 2004

Scientists warn of 'ethnic weapons'

I first read of this idea in a short story back in the late 1970's, and the story was old when read it then. It was in an anthology of short stories from Playboy, from 1965- I think.

Yesterday, I found this article, and intended to post it last night, but other things prevented me from doing so.
Scientists warn of 'ethnic weapons'
By Leigh Dayton
October 27, 2004

"BIOLOGICAL weapons that target selected ethnic groups could become part of the terrorists' arsenal unless governments and scientists act now, the British Medical Association warns.

Such designer weapons would be based on the growing ability of scientists to unravel and compare human DNA.

In theory, experts could engineer organisms to attack genetic variations commonly found in, say, Chinese or German populations.

Genetically engineered anthrax, smallpox and polio viruses are also "approaching reality", the BMA claims in a new report, Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity II.

The report, released yesterday in London, adds that organisms designed to attack food crops and even human immune and nervous systems are serious threats."
The short story had an Oriental scientist working on creating a disease that only affected the "Yellow Man". I remember the story vividly because, being in my early teens, it really made me think.

Yesterday's article does as well...


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