Biological weapon of the XXI century: Genetically modified bugs

The American Defense Department will spend $201 million on scientific research in the year 2003. Spending is growing: $180 million were spent on the research in 2002, $123 billion in 2001, and $70 million in 2000. Cliff Lau, deputy undersecretary of defense said that nanotechnology (atomic technology) could exert the biggest influence on defense technology since the time when gunpowder was invented.

The USA started conducting its first research in the field in the beginning of the 1980s. Currently, nanotechnologies are used in the American navy, in particular for the production of long-lasting protective clothing for safety. The sum that will be spent on nanotechnology by the American administration in 2003 totals $570 million, which is almost $60 million more than 2001.

However, this is a matter for the future. The development of biological weapon programs is more topical now, and Americans and the British are the world leaders in this field, as the Observer discovered. As was reported, American military men are considering using a new chemical and biological weapon in armed conflicts. This weapon is not a virus or poison. This new weapon will reportedly not cause any physical damage to military personnel. We are talking about sedative substances and genetically modified insects that will destroy fuel and ammunition, but not people.

The Observer wrote that it found copies of secret documents, which said that the Pentagon asked scientists of Pennsylvania University to study the possibility of using tranquilizing substances for military purposes. The scientists came to the conclusion that the drug called diazepam (also known as Valium), as well as dexmedetomidine, used to sedate patients in intensive care, would be the best in military or anti-terrorist operations. These drugs were recommended to be used for pacifying crowds.

Another document mentions a suggestion from the research department of the US Navy. The department suggested growing genetically modified bugs that would eat the roads and landing strips of the enemy, and supposedly destroy metal parts, coatings, and combustive and lubricating materials. This research is being conducted within the framework of the British-American program of “non-lethal weapons.” However, these documents testify to the fact that there is a certain discrepancy between the Americans and British.

Britain supports the idea that the use of sedative drugs against the enemy is the violation of the Convention of 1991 concerning the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons. This document bans the military use of chemical substances that can kill or injure a human being. As far as the issue of genetically modified bugs is concerned, experts think that this will violate the convention pertaining to the prohibition of the biological weapons.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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