biological weapon


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biological weapon

n.
A biological pathogen or toxin, such as the anthrax bacterium or the smallpox virus, that has been prepared for release on the battlefield or within a civilian population in sufficient concentration to cause widespread illness or death. Also called bioweapon.
Any pathogen—virus, bacteria, other disease-causing biological agent, or toxin produced by them—intended for use as a biological weapon.
Generic types
• Anti-personnel BWs
Ideal characteristics: High infectivity, high potency, no vaccines, aerosol delivery
• Anti-angriculture BWs: Herbicides, defoliants and other agents designed to destroy crops
Potential BWs Bacillus anthracis, botulinum toxin, Ebola virus, Argentine hemorrhagic fever virus, Q fever, Rift Valley fever, tularemia, Yersinia pestis
Defenses against BW Respirator or gas mask, protective shelter, decontamination, vaccination, antibiotics, detection systems
References in periodicals archive ?
Either those beheadings, or they be able to wipe out massive human casualties using biological weapons.
When one considers the potential of a lesser state actor or a terrorist group to develop and use biological weapons against a militarily superior force, one is forced to ask when the use of this weapon will occur, not if.
Biological weapons cannot be considered in isolation because their technologies can be used for good or bad and because of the interrelatedness of biological weapons, bioterrorism, biosafety, global public health, emerging infectious diseases and other issues.
Topics that can be written about now that would increase both a reporter's knowledge and the public's awareness of policy actions that affect their lives include: an explanation of how the biological agents can be spread through water, food or the air; development of computer programs that analyze data from ambulance calls, hospital admissions and drug store purchases to determine if there has been a biological release; and development of machines to "sniff" the air for biological weapons.
If used as a biological weapon, F tularensis would most likely be disseminated as an aerosol.
Modern detection techniques of DNA "finger-printing," or rapid genomic sequencing, of micro-organisms can also help to quickly identify the type of biological weapon released in an attack, as well as the specific strain from which it was derived.
7) Non-compliance with the BWC was made evident in 1992 when, then Russian President, Boris Yeltsin admitted that the former Soviet Union had possessed an offensive biological weapons program for twenty years.
These international measures must be comprised in a formal and legally binding treaty regime -- hence the significance of considering relevant measures in connection with the Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons Convention (commonly known as the Biological Weapons Convention or the BWC).
Because the materials and equipment used to develop and produce biological weapons are dual use (suitable both for military ends and legitimate commercial or therapeutic applications), the BWC bans microbial and toxin agents "of types and quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.
The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History by Milton Leitenberg and Raymond A.
BAHRAIN'S Cabinet has given initial approval to a law on the prohibition of biological weapons.
DOD requests funding increase for biological weapons program The Pentagon is seeking an additional $6.

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