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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Unit 731
Unit 731 (731 部隊 Nana-san-ichi butai?) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel. Unit 731 was the code name (tsūshōgō) of an Imperial Japanese Army unit officially known as the Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory. It was initially set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and possibly Soviet forces.

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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.

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George Tenet

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Escherichia coli
Escherichia coli (commonly abbreviated E. coli; and named after its discoverer), is a Gram negative rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine. E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. The bacteria can also be grown easily and its genetics are comparatively simple and easily-manipulated or duplicated through a process of metagenics, making it one of the best-studied prokaryotic model organisms, and an important species in biotechnology and microbiology. E. coli was discovered by German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich in 1885, and is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-proteobacteria.

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1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack



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Jay Rockefeller
[Bioterrorism] is as great a threat or a greater threat than the Soviet Union posed to us.


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