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Re: Fear of Flying -- from HotWired

On Tue, 17 Sep 1996, Adamsc wrote:

> On Thu, 12 Sep 1996 12:03:18 -0700, Bill Frantz wrote:
> >>... former CIA director James Woolsey: responded with some seemingly 
> >>   gratuitous anti-Net
> >>   rhetoric. Terrorists may use biological weapons like anthrax, he said.
> >>   "Anthrax is colorless, odorless, and has a 90 percent lethality. One
> >>   gram has 100 million lethal doses." Then Woolsey delivered the zinger:
> >>   "The knowledge of how to make anthrax is widely available, including
> >>   on the Internet."
> >Gee, biotech has come a long way.  Now I can download the Anthrax DNA
> >sequence from the net and insert it in some carrier bacteria and start
> >making Anthrax bacteria.  Neat!

Culturing and growing anthrax is painfully simple.  No DNA required.

> >BTW - My dictionary says that Anthrax is primarily an animal disease which
> >only occasionally infects humans.  It sounds like a poor choice for bio-war
> >terror.

Incorrect.  It is highly problematic and very nasty when it is properly
delivered.  The hardest thing about anthrax is to get an areosol fine
enough to present an inhalation risk.  (This is why it does not
generally cause problems in humans- it's rare for it to get this fine).

> Unfortunately, it can be very deadly.  The idea here is that it rarely infects
> humans - in the normal course of events.  If a determined biowarrior is trying
> to infect people, all bets are off.


> # Chris Adams <[email protected]> | http://www.io-online.com/adamsc/adamsc.htp
> # [email protected] | V.M. (619)515-4894

I hate lightning - finger for public key - Vote Monarchist
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