General, Research, Technology

Artificially created viruses can become a new weapon of terrorism

Every year in the world there are many discoveries inareas of biology and genetic engineering. Most of them are of global importance, as new vaccines can cure millions of sick people. However, along with the development of science, new threats arise due to their possible use against humans. Scientists have managed to create synthetically modified pathogenic microorganisms and now fear that they can be used to infect people on a global scale.

The development of synthetic biology opens up new frontiers in virology, healthcare, and even global security

The threat of bioterrorism

When the latest technology gets into“Wrong” hands, from it can create weapons that can cause catastrophic damage. Due to recent acts of local terror, such as the crash of the Malaysia Airlines 370 flight in 2014, as well as the crash of the A321 Kogalymavia aircraft in 2015, which claimed hundreds of lives, synthetic viruses can travel around the world, putting them at considerable risk billions of people.

Thanks to new discoveries, scientists managedto develop a powerful DNA alteration tool called CRISPR. It greatly simplifies genetic engineering, and also makes it much cheaper, which allows expanding opportunities for many researchers.

The development of virology and synthetic biologymoving forward with significant steps, for example, in 2011, virologists successfully changed the DNA of the deadly H5N1 virus, known to us as “bird flu”. Scientists managed to turn it into an “Armageddon virus” by changing only two key genes. Thus, the H5N1 virus has turned into a deadly infection, which spreads much faster and can cause the death of a huge number of people. During the bird flu epidemic in 2005, more than three hundred people died, and in the case of the modified DNA virus, millions will be counted.

Such experiments on the modification of DNA virusesraised a wide public response, the result of which was a complete ban on conducting such studies in Europe and the United States. By the way, you can discuss with like-minded people the possibility of a supervirus in our official Telegram chat.

The genome of the influenza virus has a sequence of approximately 1000 nucleotides. Despite such a small amount, the scientists managed to create a code that significantly enhanced the H5N1 virus.

See also: For the first time in the world, a case of infection with bird flu from a cat has been recorded

Modified viruses

Scientists and experts believe that the consequences of such risks are enormous and critical. The creation of contagious viruses makes the world vulnerable to hostile abuse of science.

In order to prevent a creepy scenariodoomsday, experts are considering several options. One of them is a complete ban on synthetic biology. However, according to researchers, a direct ban is not able to completely protect people, because thanks to new simplified technologies, you can create a pathogenic microorganism in a normal laboratory.

Experts also offer alternative options, ina system that can recognize pathogens in the air. The second option could be the expansion of biotechnological infrastructure. Thanks to this step, the production of vaccines can take place in pharmacies and doctors' offices, which will allow people to receive vital medicines faster. This method can save countless lives from death, however, if the development of synthetic biology also develops rapidly, according to experts, an enemy synthetic supervirus may appear in the next 15-20 years.