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Biological Warfare Sites:

More facts about biological weapons

CNN's interactive map on the nations which presently play around with biological weapons.

Information is available on Anthrax by clicking on the word ANTHRAX (when underlined) – this is a link to my own Web page on Anthrax  (I needed to spin that off because of the ballooning number of resources on the Web on that particular disease).  Also try The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention's page on Anthrax

Biological Warfare and its Cutaneous Manifestations, Thomas W. McGovern, MD, MAJ, MC, George W. Christopher, LTC, USAF, MC   A reader of this page who happens to be an chemical warfare defense officer in the National Guard who is charged with training people on how to care for victims of biological and chemical warfare asked for help locating pictures of what lesions ("sores") caused by anthrax, smallpox, etc look like.  A quick search in Google.com turned up this page.

I caution younger and more sensitive readers that the photos in this paper depict patients with rather unpleasant conditions that cause distressingly severe lesions and other injuries.  The patients photographed are also in varying states of dress.

Cranfield University's Internet resource page on biological/chemical land warfare Kings Norton Library, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England UK maintain this page on biological and chemical land warfare as part of their "AERADE" aviation and military information Web site. They should be congratulated on a thoroughly professional and scholarly approach to their task.

Biological Weapons 101: A very good Internet-based college-level introduction to biological weapons by Dr. R. E. Hurlbert, Washington State University.

Biological Warfare and the Implications of Biotechnology - California Polytechnic Institute hosts this online essay (which is well-written, profusely illustrated, and authoritative) on the potential hazard posed by the application of current and future genetic engineering and other biotechnologies to the development of biological weapons

Frontline "Plague War" episode page: has text of interviews with the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Defense, several biological warfare experts, including Dr. Ken Alibek, a defector from the Russian BW program, on the current biological terrorism threat and the history of the secret Soviet and Russian BW programs.

Cole LA. The specter of biological weapons. Sci Am 1996;275:60-5.   An article in Scientific American.

Bibliography of scientific papers by Dr. Matthew Meselson

This is an extremely valuable historical resource - Dr. Meselson dominated scientific and policy-making discussion on biological weapons and warfare in the United States at the highest levels for over thirty years.  Dr. Meselson's advice was important in the Nixon administration’s decision to stop manufacturing and planning to use biological weapons and to sign the Biological Weapons Convention banning the use of these weapons – although his reasoning that the US would make biological warfare less likely by getting out of the business seems to have been overtaken by the facts. 

Until the 1990s Dr.Meselson (still the dominant voice in the study of biological warfare in this country) insisted that the Soviets (and later, the Russians) were NOT violating the treaty banning biological weapons.   All through the 1980s the political left in the United States and the news media (draw your own conclusions, folks) were quoting Dr. Meselson’s work when they railed against the ridiculous idea that the Soviets would ever make biological weapons – because the Reagan administration turned up clue after clue that the Russians were busily beta-testing advanced biotoxic warfare in Laos.  Dr. Meselson weighed in on this controversy in 1984 with his paper “Yellow rain--a palynological analysis” (with J.M. Nowicke) in Nature.

Dr. Meselson seems to have been a LITTLE optimistic, however.  Just AFTER the Soviets signed the Biological Weapons Convention in the early 1970s, they consolidated their biological weapons research and production programs into a mammoth biological warfare research and production agency called "Biopreparat." 

According to Dr. Ken Alibek and another former deputy director of Biopreparat who defected after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Soviets and their successors poured vast sums into Biopreparat over a twenty year period to develop especially virulent and even genetically-engineered strains of weaponized diseases for use against... well, mainly against the other major signatories of the treaty, us in the US and UK. 

We now know from these former high-level directors of Biopreparat that the Soviets (under the express orders of Mikhail Sergeievich Gorbachev - touchy-feely Glasnost Gorby!) had prepared ICBMs for launch at the United States with warheads full of anthrax and smallpox made to overcome vaccine-caused immunity (and in the case of anthrax, most antibiotics). 

Until those defections, work toward discovery of this vast secret program was due mainly to the persistence of British intelligence and a few brave souls in the U.S. intelligence and biological research communities (you know, the “paranoids?”)  who pursued clues such as the 1979 anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (which we now know resulted from an accidental release of anthrax from a secret military research plant). 

By the way, one of the articles in Dr. Meselson’s bibliography was a 1994 analysis of the Sverdlovsk anthrax release confirming what people in the Anglo-American intelligence community had been saying since… well, since 1979.  Since then, Dr. Meselson has been vocal in condemning the proliferation of biological weapons worldwide, and he appears several times in the PBS documentary series NOVA’s “Bioterror” episode.  Really, that’s a very good episode (veteran U.S. bioweaponeer William Patrick also appears, demonstrating at one point that a man with a pump sprayer full of weaponized anthrax and a wind at his back could raise all kinds of hell).  PBS Video should have the episode for sale by now.

Articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on biological warfare:

Letters: Guidelines for Treatment of Anthrax;JAMA. October 16, 2002; Vol.288, No.15

Anthrax as a Biological Weapon, 2002: Updated Recommendations for Management;JAMA. May 1, 2002; Vol.287, No.17:pp.2236-2252

Relationship Between Prepregnancy Anthrax Vaccination and Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes Among US Army Women;JAMA. March 27, 2002; Vol.287, No.12:pp.1556-1560

Fatal Inhalational Anthrax With Unknown Source of Exposure in a 61-Year-Old Woman in New York City;JAMA. February 20, 2002; Vol.287, No.7:pp.858-862.

Fatal Inhalational Anthrax in a 94-Year-Old Connecticut Woman;JAMA. February 20, 2002; Vol.287 No.7:pp.863-868

Cutaneous Anthrax Associated With Microangiopathic Hemolytic Anemia and Coagulopathy in a 7-Month-Old Infant; JAMA. February 20, 2002; Vol.287, No.7: pp.869-874

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Update: Investigation of Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax—Connecticut, 2001; JAMA. January 2, 2002; Vol.287, No.1: pg.34

Death Due to Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax: Report of 2 Patients; JAMA. November 28, 2001; vol.286, No.20: pp.2554-2559

Anthrax as a Biological Weapon: Medical and Public Health Management ; JAMA. May 12, 1999; vol.281, No.18: pg.1735

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Bioterrorism Alleging Use of Anthrax and Interim Guidelines for Management United States, 1998 ; JAMA. March 3, 1999; Vol.281, No.9

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Suspected Brucellosis Case Prompts Investigation of Possible Bioterrorism-Related Activity: New Hampshire and Massachusetts, 1999 ; JAMA. July 19, 2000; Vol.284, No.3

Updates Linking Evidence and Experience: Anthrax Vaccine Evidence for Safety and Efficacy Against Inhalational Anthrax ; JAMA. December 8, 1999; Vol.282 No.22

Letters: Recognition and Treatment of Anthrax JAMA. November 3, 1999; Vol.282, No.17

Letters: Biological Warfare in the 1940s and 1950s JAMA. August 2, 2000; Vol.284, No.5

(Review) Books/Biological Warfare: The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets From the Early Cold War and Korea; JAMA. November 17, 1999; Vol. 282, No.19

Medicine in Uniform: Fewer Anthrax Injections? JAMA. April 5, 2000; Vol.283 No.13

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Surveillance for Adverse Events Associated With Anthrax Vaccination. US Department of Defense, 1998-2000; JAMA. May 24/31, 2000; Vol.283 No.20

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Use of Anthrax Vaccine in Response to Terrorism: Supplemental Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; JAMA. December 4, 2002, Vol.288 No.21

Sites concerned with international control of biological weapons:

Information about the United Nations' Task Force Scorpio : This unit was originally formed during the Gulf War to deal with the biological threat posed by Iraq and its terrorist allies.

The Federation of American Scientists' Biological and Toxin Weapons Verification Program

"Emergency.com's" page on anthrax as a HAZMAT (hazardous material)

US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases : Also known as USAMRIID, the Army research outfit in the movie "Outbreak"

US Food and Drug Administration Bioterrorism Page ; A comprehensive reference page containing recommendations for proper medication and dosage for the treatment of biological agents used in biological terrorism and biological warfare

US Army Handbook on the Medical Management Of Biological Casualties, Third Edition: USAMRIID's standard textbook for training military and other physicians on how to treat victims of BW

Advanced technology for automated genetic and biochemical analysis of unknown biological materials:

Affymetrix corporate web site:Visit this site to learn about current commercial biochips and other products; includes pictures and great flash animations of how "gene chips" (electronic microdevices which interact directly with genetic material placed on them) work.

IGEN Corporation - a pioneer in the development of electrochemiluminescent detection of biological agents: Description of IGEN's automated process for identifying disease agents, hormones, markers of injury to specific tissue groups, biological medications. This technology can perform antigenic assays and DNA probes with great speed and without the use of highly perishable reagents. Clearly a technology with great potential for biological defense and forensic studies.