Portal:Biological warfare

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Biological warfare Portal

Biological warfare (BW), also known as germ warfare, is the use of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, other disease-causing biological agents, or the toxins produced by them as biological weapons (or bioweapons). There is a clear overlap between biological warfare and chemical warfare, as the use of toxins produced by living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins, which are of organic origin, are often called "midspectrum agents". A biological weapon may be intended to kill, incapacitate, or seriously impair a person, group of people, or even an entire population. It may also be defined as the material or defense against such employment. Biological warfare is a military technique that can be used by nation-states or non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.The Geneva convention restricts the use of biological and chemical weapons as it is against human rights to use them.

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Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War is a nonfiction scientific warfare book written by award-winning author and University of Wyoming professor, Jeffrey A. Lockwood. Published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, the book explores the history of bioterrorism, entomological warfare, biological warfare, and the prevention of agro-terrorism from the earliest times to modern threats. Lockwood, an entomologist, preceded this book with Ethical issues in biological control (1997) and Locust: The devastating rise and mysterious disappearance of the insect that shaped the American frontier (2004), among others.

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Symbols for weapons of mass destruction
Credit: Fastfission

The term "weapon of mass destruction" usually refers to nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical weapons. A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) or (WoMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere in general. The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.

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Burkholderia pseudomallei
Melioidosis (also called Whitmore disease or Nightcliff gardener's disease) is an infectious disease caused by a Gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, found in soil and water. It is of public health importance in endemic areas, particularly in Thailand and northern Australia. It exists in acute and chronic forms. Symptoms may include pain in chest, bones, or joints; cough; skin infections, lung nodules and pneumonia. B. pseudomallei was thought to be a member of the Pseudomonas genus and was previously known as Pseudomonas pseudomallei. It is phylogenetically related closely to Burkholderia mallei which causes glanders, an infection primarily of horses, donkeys and mules. The name Melioidosis is derived from the Greek melis meaning "a distemper of asses" with the suffixes -oid meaning "similar to" and -osis meaning "a condition" i.e. a condition similar to glanders.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation
Painstaking investigation led us to the conclusion that Dr. Bruce E. Ivins was responsible for the death, sickness and fear brought to our country by the 2001 anthrax mailing and that it appears based on the evidence that he was acting alone. The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and over time for highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.

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Concepts
Biological agents
Biological warfare topics
Modern bioterrorist incidents
Prevention and response


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