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RE: Seriously...? and RE: This is an old argument

By dcolbert Contributor ·
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It's not weaponized if it kills the people trying to purify it... or leaks

by AnsuGisalas In reply to In my book, weaponization ...

You have no comprehension of what a weapon is and is not, Don.
A leaky water balloon is not a weapon.
A crumbling dam up the ravine may keep people from moving next door to you, but not from breaking into your home. It's not a weapon if it cannot be controlled.

Sure, it's dangerous... but it's not a weapon.

You're underthinking this: How do you obtain a viable H1N1 strain? How do you purify and control it while you induce the mutations? How do you keep your crew from dying to a non-airborne intermediary form? It's a mess. And remember, a non-airborn outbreak will tip off the world to danger, and medical staff from the WHO will be called in, who will raise the alarm when they find the stuff's been tampered with.

Once you have it, it's like lighting yourself on fire, then running across town to the fuel depot... it's not in your control at all whether you succeed or fail.

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How to obtain a viable H5N1 Strain

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to In my book, weaponization ...

Find a dead bird and build a culture. Remember - the virus itself is relatively difficult to transmit *prior* to mutation. This makes finding a viable version of the bug pretty easy to come by. The last (fatal) infection in China is thought to be caused by a jogger running through bird-poop. It is EASY to come by the virus and actually easy to MANAGE it once you have a sample of it. The difficult part is to get it to mutate - but it sounds like Dr. Fouchier is bent on taking care of THAT hurdle.

As for the World Health Organization - global governments still can't seem to come to grips with how to monitor Iran's nuclear ambitions and there are great areas of effective lawlessness throughout the globe. Your faith in the WHO being able to quickly identify and clamp down on any rogue organization working to start an Avian flu epidemic seems ambitious, to me. You paint it like there is a whole wing of NORAD with guys sitting around watching a global screens displaying the results of satellites sniffing for any kind of bio-checmical signatures. Once detected, a team of crack commandos is deployed to neutralize the threat. The BioSQUAD! Who has been reading too many pulp novels, now?!?

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If you're not going back there, answer me here

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Did you see that thread?! ...

What's with the societal collapse?
Stephen King is the master of pulp fiction, not of prediction or description of actual events. Society doesn't collapse from a disease. They rebound.

Point to the mechanism that a contagion may cause societal collapse, I claim that they do not exist; beyond killing off all the bearers of the most vital skills, and no 50% is going to do that.

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I've gone back there...

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to If you're not going back ...

But you've answered my repeated question there - here.

You don't think 50% is the thresh-hold. I think it may very well be. I don't think we can get past that difference in opinion. We've never seen it happen before in the scenario as described here - so it is conjecture on both of our parts short of someone breaking out a computer model that supports one or the other of us.

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Based on WHAT?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to I've gone back there...

You think so. Make an experiment: Find a list of titles for a company of 1000 employees. Then "kill off" at random fifty percent of them: Then look at the remainder; how much does it take to irrevocably destroy a company function? Not inconvenience for the period of remaining staff retraining new people, but to take it to "nobody knows"?
Disregard upper management; they hold their position due to authority, not skills. Whoever is appointed to replace them will get the authority in getting appointed. Finding out where the key to the executive liquor cabinet isn't a skill.

Then look at society: That's not a thousand people, is it? That's such a mind-boggling degree of redundancy that you can't even begin to evaluate it.
Fifty percent is NOT enough.
Fifty percent has been done: It causes a flowering of science and arts, and a jump in life expectancy.
Every time.

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Good point.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Did you see that thread?! ...

For the record, I think this research should be kept unpublished. Unlike computer malware whit may be indirectly fatal, biological agents act directly on living organisms.

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On the other hand...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Good point.

Anyone can write code with just Notepad++...
Nobody can write DNA.
And no terrorist organization has ever had access to a category 3 lab, and even a cat3 lab might be insufficient for putting this knowledge to deliberate use.

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The Calvet there should read Yet.

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to On the other hand...

Prior to September 11 2001 no Terrorist had access to a Commercial Airliner and people to fly it but that certainly changed.

The same applies to Dirty Bombs or Chemical/Biological Weapons just because they haven't previously had access to the places where these things could be made doesn't mean things will always be that way.

Currently there are at least 2 countries with the capability to make Fuel Rods for a Uranium Reactor who are not part of the mainstream Global Community and if you want to count those countries that have this ability and are not signatories of the Non Proliferation Pact that number is far greater.

Besides the real possibility here is that a small amount of that Live Virus is acquired and then grown by people who are willing to use it for their ends. If that was to happen a Category 3 Lab isn't required and to be perfectly honest Mum's Kitchen Table would do the job quite nicely though that Kitchen Table would need to be in the middle of nowhere and you would have to be willing to accept those growing it dying. Unfortunately with the way that things are nowadays that???s quite possible.

Col

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That's not very dangerous, really.

by AnsuGisalas In reply to The Calvet there should r ...

Of course, terrorism is more about the thought than the effect, I guess...

Weaponizing it is difficult... and if they did it suicide-bomber style, they'd need to have a lot of suiciders gathered in one place, with relay carriers standing by to take over "the flame".
A plot like that is harder to keep under wraps than a handful of pilot-trained whackos. Especially since everybody involved will know for sure that it's likely to eventually hit their own families, too.
Odds are, there will be leaks and telltales.

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Not just terrorists.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to On the other hand...

While terrorists may not have access to the necessary tools, many governments have show their willingness to hire the capabilities to build nuclear weapons. The tools to tinker with DNA are cheaper to obtain, the knowledge can also be hired, and the payload delivery is easier and potentially more devastating.

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