Portal:Biological warfare

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


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.

More about Biological warfare...

Selected article

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem
Early thermal weapons were devices or substances used in warfare during the classical and medieval periods (approx 8th century BC until the mid-16th century AD) which used heat or burning action to destroy or damage enemy personnel, fortifications or territories. Incendiary devices were frequently used as projectiles during warfare, particularly during sieges and naval battles; some substances were boiled or heated to inflict damage by scalding or burning. Other substances relied on their chemical properties to inflict burns or damage. These weapons or devices could be used by individuals, manipulated by war machines, or utilised as army strategy. The simplest, and most common, thermal projectiles were boiling water and hot sand, which could be poured over attacking personnel. Other anti-personnel weapons included the use of hot pitch, oil, resin, animal fat and other similar compounds. Smoke was used to confuse or drive off attackers. Substances such as quicklime and sulfur could be toxic and blinding.

Selected picture

At sea aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76)
Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Kevin H. Tierney

At sea aboard USS Higgins (DDG-76) Mar. 2, 2003 -- A member of the ship's Damage Control Training Team (DCTT) ensures a crewmember has a proper seal on their gas mask while conducting chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) drills aboard the guided missile destroyer. Higgins is on a regularly scheduled six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In this month

Richard Nixon

Selected biological agent

C. burnetii, the Q fever causing agent
Q fever is a disease caused by infection with Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that affects humans and other animals. This organism is uncommon but may be found in cattle, sheep, goats and other domestic mammals, including cats and dogs. The infection results from inhalation of contaminated particles in the air, and from contact with the milk, urine, feces, vaginal mucus, or semen of infected animals. The incubation period is 9–40 days. It can be considered the most infectious disease in the world, as a human being can be infected by a single bacterium The bacterium is an obligate intracellular pathogen. Q fever has been described as a possible biological weapon. The United States investigated Q fever as a potential biological warfare agent in the 1950s with eventual standardization as agent OU. At Fort Detrick and Dugway Proving Ground human trials were conducted on Whitecoat volunteers to determine the median infective dose (18 MICLD50/person i.h.) and course of infection. As a standardized biological it was manufactured in large quantities at Pine Bluff Arsenal, with 5,098 gallons in the arsenal in bulk at the time of demilitarization in 1970. Q fever is a category "B" agent. It can be contagious and is very stable in aerosols in a wide range of temperatures. Q fever microorganisms may survive on surfaces up to 60 days.

Did you know...

Pertussis

Categories

WikiProjects

Selected quote

Christian B. Anfinsen
We could develop warheads to spread anthrax (disease) within six months and so could the Soviets. ... Since you can make any number of variables, the defense against them is impossible. The inability to defend against such an attack is universal.

Topics

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


Featured content

Things you can do

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia