Engineered viruses are the most recent weapons – Here’s why?
Microbes are microscopic organisms which we use for bread, for brushing beer and, lately, for creating new biological systems with synthetic DNA. A Microbe is seen as a chassis – or the structural frame for adding genes and DNA in this synthetic biology world. They will be tested, and their performance improved so that they can do something useful for the world, hopefully. Yet often the dark side of this potential for changing living organisms and leading them to global challenges. It’s a swing from promise to a real threat, often referred to as the halfpipe of doom.
We need to get back to the early 2000s in order to understand why this framing exists. Human Genome projects were nearing the end. And scientists had new molecular instruments for developing promising applications. And New York City suffered a major terrorist attack. “The tower of the World Trade Center went through the aeroplane. Within just a few weeks of the screening, we have had four confirmed cases of anthrax, all of them with media links and with a sequence of anthrax terrifying.
You may think of anthrax bacteria and the smallpox virus, and this is your tool if the majority of people think of an organic instrument. However, it requires more sophistication to turn an organism in a deadly pathogen that can cause predictable harm. Not only do you have a pathogen, but you also have to know how to hold it reliably, grow it and then find ways of disseminating it effectively so that bacteria or toxin are not destroyed.
After the First World War, many states began their own programs on biological weapons as a research initiative and as countermeasure storage. This is possibly one of the most hidden aspects of our former bio-armament program is the language of how you can maintain these staff to function as a gun. Those are living creatures, and they’re highly sophisticated. They tried to establish a pesticide bacteria resistant to many different antibiotics in the Soviet biological weapon programme. It’s a super, deceitful pest weapon but it’s a horrible one because it’s just going to die.
In the world, you couldn’t survive. Through this focused experiment, scientists finally produced enough bio arms to destroy every human on the planet. Fortunately, however, national governments signed a biological weapons convention. Decades later, the massive genetic investment made the tools and techniques more affordable and available. Sufficient to make a synthetic pathogen engineered. And that is why Synthbio has launched alarm clocks and its quarrel for making biology easier to develop.
In 2002, an artificial poliovirus was created by the State University of New York in Stony Brook, which synthetically does not use natural viral components. A congressman picked up the New York Times that day and read about the artificial synthesis of polioviruses. Then there was more concern about what was happening here from several other federal agencies. Have we gone up? Would we have done anything to supervise this? In fact, DARPA, an agency of the U.S. government, was funding this poliovirus study.
All this dispute has emerged: is it a bioterrorism blueprint? Is that the case I was very interested in asking really? Is it too easy now to pick out the pathogen? And, I’ve been, I haven’t been sure. There was a lot of discussion on the tools that science experts would actually buy commercially to conduct their tests and the fact that they can access the knowledge from the Internet. But this particular story has more to do.
I figured interviewing the scientists involved would be interesting. And what was really interesting is that once I started to analyze the experiment, immediately they identified it later, which required tremendous experience in actual reality. Basically, the experiment could not be done if you could not do that part of the experiment. In reality, you could not build the virus of artificial polio. However, by reading some of the journal papers, you wouldn’t know. Even if you read the scientific paper you would not know that.
And a well-known cell line and cow serum were involved in that very unreported portion. In fact, a very rigorous degree of purity of these cell extracts is required to produce this artificial virus. In this serum of cows, these HeLa cells are grown. When they have attempted this procedure with cow serum, which they have obtained at various times of the year, so this will potentially cause an experiment failure. We are hypothesizing because they are not very certain, but maybe these cows eat all kinds of foods at these different times of the year, and that really makes a major impact at a very micro-level in the cell.
From my point of view, I want to just see stronger kinds of assessment about these technologies instead of jumping fast, “Oh my God, my materials, my facilities, there’s going to be a garage lab, oh my God, some bad thing.” And instead, I really want to try to find out, “Okay, what is getting easier? What is getting harder?
Expertise is therefore very important here. However, even the experts recognize that with a fast-moving area such as synthetic biology there are valid weaknesses in defence. A new study with a list of threat issues was released by the National Academies of Science. Registered pathogenic viruses are recreated at the highest level and current bacteria are more dangerous and the human genome is least changed with a genetic engine. Some of the suggestions in the report include the development of screening tools and computational approaches for any artificially engineered organism.
Because there is the technology needed to recreate and remix DNA sequences and the development of new medical treatments involves the resurrection of extinct viruses in the synthetic form.. The first, but not the last, poliovirus in 2002 may have been. There is too much worldwide laboratory use for successful industrial study, therapeutic uses of materials and facilities for fundamental scientific science.
In life studies, it’s not easy to say, “Well, it’s weapons and bad. And research and application are all right,” and that duality goes directly to the heart of the field, to the very microbes. Millions of them can make us seriously sick in our country, and others can fight illness. It is a broad spectrum that nature itself introduces to us, and that eventually leads us through.