- I guess that I am behind the times. Obviously the genetic
weapons have ALREADY been in development.
- Ebolapox, however, released into a society would eventually
come back to the people who release it. Therefore, one would have to take
it a step further and develope an ebolapox that would only infect a specific
genetic target group. This would insure that the ethnic group releasing
it would not become infected. Perhaps, that is the part of developing
- Exerp from http://www.hackvan.com/pub/stig/articles/bioweapons.htm
- "Russia has researched the genetic alteration of
smallpox," Alibek told me. "In 1990 and 1991, we engineered a
smallpox at Vector. It was found that several areas of the smallpox genome"
-- the DNA -- "can be used for the introduction of some foreign genetic
material. The first development was smallpox and VEE. VEE, or Venezuelan
equine encephalitis, is a brain virus. It causes a severe headache and
near-coma, but it is generally not lethal. Alibek said that the researchers
spliced VEE into smallpox. The result was a recombinant chimera virus.
In ancient Greek myth, the chimera was a monster made from parts of different
animals. Recombination means the mixing of genes from different organisms.
"It is called smallpox-VEE chimera," Alibek said. It could also
be called Veepox. Under a microscope, Alibek said, the Veepox looks like
smallpox, but it isn't.
- According to Alibek, there was one major technical hurdle
to clear in the creation of a workable Veepox chimera, and he says that
it took the Vector researchers years to solve the problem. They solved
it by finding more than one place in the smallpox DNA where you could insert
new genes without decreasing smallpox's ability to cause disease. Many
researchers feel that the smallpox virus doesn't cause disease in animals
in any way that is useful for understanding its effects on humans. Alibek
says that the Russians tested Veepox in monkeys, but he says that he doesn't
know the results.
- More recently, Alibek claims, the Vector researchers
may have created a recombinant Ebola-smallpox chimera. One could call it
Ebolapox. Ebola virus uses the molecule RNA for its genetic code, whereas
smallpox uses DNA. Alibek believes that the Russian researchers made a
DNA copy of the disease-causing parts of Ebola, then grafted them into
smallpox. Alibek said he thinks that the Ebolapox virus is stable -- that
is, that it will replicate successfully in a test tube or in animals --
which means that, once created, Ebolapox will live forever in a laboratory,
and will not uncreate itself. Thus a new form of life may have been brought
into the world.
- "The Ebolapox could produce the form of smallpox
called blackpox," Alibek says. Blackpox, sometimes known as hemorrhagic
smallpox, is the most severe type of smallpox disease. In a blackpox infection,
the skin does not develop blisters. Instead, the skin becomes dark all
over. Blood vessels leak, resulting in severe internal hemorrhaging. Blackpox
is invariably fatal. "As a weapon, the Ebolapox would give the hemorrhages
and high mortality rate of Ebola virus, which would give you a blackpox,
plus the very high contagiousness of smallpox," Alibek said.
- Bill Patrick became exasperated. "Ken! Ken! I think
you've got overkill here. What is the point of creating an Ebola smallpox?
I mean, it would be nice to do this from a scientific point of view, sure.
But with old-fashioned natural smallpox you can bring a society to its
knees. You don't need any Ebolapox, Ken. Why, you're just gonna kill everybody."
- "I suspect that this research has been done,"
Alibek said calmly.