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Resource ID: #17825
Subject: Weapons
Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Chicago)
Affiliation: 
Date: March/April

Description

"Every major World War II combatant had a biological weapons program," Choffnes writes, "and many of these countries' field test sites remain reservoirs of disease. Although the programs may have ended, the pathogens they released persist in the test sites' animal, bird, reptile, and insect populations. Unless extreme measures are taken to secure testing grounds, pathogens once released into the environment will adapt to new hosts and spread diseases to new areas...As it becomes harder to obtain pathogenic materials from private and public sources, terrorists or nations seeking to acquire a biological weapons capability might be tempted to obtain pathogen seed stocks from wildlife collections or other environmental sources of pathogenic materials." Story discusses in particular biological weapons testing sites in the U.S., Britain, and the former Soviet Union.

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