Occurrence and Fate of Plastic Additives in Natural and

Document Sample
Occurrence and Fate of  Plastic Additives in Natural and Powered By Docstoc
					Biological threats: present and

              Dr Diego Buriot
                Erice, Italy
               24 August 2010

                 The Full Spectrum of Biological Risks
                          Terence Taylor, International Council for the Life Sciences

Naturally   Reemerging      Unintended                                            Crime &                    BW
                                           Laboratory     Lack of      Policy
Occurring    Infectious      Outcomes                                            Counterfeit   Sabotage   Terrorism
                                           Accidents     Awareness    Choices
Pandemic      Diseases      of Research                                            Drugs                    State

Natural                     Accidental                                    Intentional

18 February 2010                               Biological Risk                                    2
   Biological threats are an increasingly serious and complex threat to national

   Knowledge, equipment, and pathogens required to construct a biological
    weapon are now globally dispersed.

   Historical evidence confirms the effectiveness of biological weapons, on both
    a small and on a large scale.

   Multiple assessments and reports from the U.S. government, the World Health
    Organization (WHO), and others have concluded that, absent a rapid and
    robust response, a biological weapons attack could results in thousands of

   Extant intention to use biological weapons against the U.S. and other
    countries, as recently voiced by terrorists and radical environmentalist

   Barriers to the development have fallen quickly as necessary technologies
    advance and grow more accessible.                                               3
 Soviet biological weapons installations

                          Source : Global Security Org.

Source : Global Security Org.                             4
        Biological weapons use by small
   1984 – USA – Rajneeshee bioterror attack
    Followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh attempted to control a local election by
    incapacitating the local population. This was done by infecting salad bars in eleven
    restaurants with Salmonella typhimurium bacteria in the city of The Dalles, Oregon.
    The attack infected 751 people with severe food poisoning. However, there were no

   1993 - Japan – Aum Shinrikyo anthrax release in Kameido
    The religious group Aum Shinrikyo released anthrax in Tokyo. Eye witnesses reported a
    foul odor. The attack was a total failure, infecting not a single person. This case shows
    how difficult it is to aerolize anthrax spores in high concentration.

   2001 – USA- Anthrax Attacks
    In September and October 2001, letters laced with infectious anthrax were delivered to
    news media offices and the U.S Congress. The letters killed 5. Tests on the anthrax
    strain used in the attack pointed to a domestic source, possibly from the biological
    weapons program.

    Assessing the Threat and the US Government’s
                  Ability to Respond
   The U.S. intelligence community has assessed the threat of an attack on the U.S. using
    biological weapons, and they have determined that the threat of a biological attack on
    the U.S. is current and real.14 Yet, as noted by the Commission on the Prevention of
    Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (the Commission) in their
    World at Risk report released in December 2008, the U.S. remains vulnerable and
    unprepared to deal with such an attack.

   The World at Risk report concluded that, unless the international community acts
    resolutely and with great urgency, there is a high likelihood that a weapon of mass
    destruction (WMD) would be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by 2013.

   The Commission emphasized that the weapon is more likely to be biological than
    nuclear, and the Director of National Intelligence publicly agreed with the report’s threat
    assessment, saying, ‘‘We [the intelligence community] assess biological as the more
    likely and it’s better than an even chance in the next five years that an attack by one of
    those weapons systems will be conducted in some place on the globe. . . .’’

    In addition, the Commission concluded that, to date, the U.S. government has placed
    greater emphasis on programs to prevent nuclear terrorism, and that the government
    ‘‘should make the more likely threat— bioterrorism—a higher priority.’’
   http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100806_6521.php
                      Main issues
   Can we control biological materials or information in ways
    that slow biological weapons development or use?
   Can we improve transparency among countries on
    biological weapons issues?
   Can we strengthen moral and behavioral norms against
    biological weapons?
   Can we improve intelligence and interdiction?
   Can we improve surveillance and international
    collaboration on infectious disease monitoring and
   Can we improve forensics, attribution, or deterrence?
   Can we strengthen biodefense as a means of dissuasion?

    The nuclear nonproliferation and prevention
     model does not apply to biological weapons
   Primary goals of nuclear nonproliferation and prevention
    – Secure fissile material around the world.
    – Secure highly technical information about nuclear weapons
    –   Prevent the emergence of new nuclear states and nuclear testing
        through inspections, aerial reconnaissance, and sophisticated
        seismic, hydroacoustic, radionuclide, and other forms of
    –   Prevent the divergence of nuclear fuel into the weapons cycle.
    –   Maintain current and seek new treaty arrangements (NPT, Fissile
        Material Cut-off Treaty, CTBT) in pursuit of these policy goals.
    –   Maintain deterrence through nuclear forensics, attribution, and the
        promise of retribution.
                         Biodefense labs
   400 research entities and 15 300 individuals cleared in the US to have
    access to select agents which include anthrax, smallpox and Ebola
     – Physical measures: GGG
     – Security risk assessment process (databases of criminals immigrations and

             New developments:
 Scientific Advances Could Lower Bar for
              Biological Attack

 Current technologies enable aerosol
  dissemination of biological weapons
 Advances in genomics: beyond traditional
 Synthetic biology: inert ingredients and
  digital information

            Wall Street Journal Aug. 11 2010
   Scientific and technological advances that allow more biological research
    experiments to be conducted outside of institutional settings are raising fears that
    terrorists could also find it easier to produce and weaponize disease materials
   Lack of expertise and access to the advanced technology required for pathogen
    development have been seen as key barriers to extremists' ability to develop and
    use a biological weapon.
   Just 10 years ago, only a small number of facilities had the technology and
    knowledge to conduct sophisticated biological research. Now, however, amateur
    collaborative biology efforts have emerged that allow hobby scientists to exchange
    insights on activities such as isolation of genetic substances and constructing
    efficient centrifuges. This movement has been supported by relatively inexpensive
    equipment that can be used at home.
   “If students can order any (genetic sequence) online, somebody could try to make
    the Ebola virus," Craig Venter, who produced one of the world's first synthetic
    organisms, said in July. "We are limited more by our imagination now than any
    technological limitations," Venter said.
 DIY Bio is an organization dedicated to making biology an
accessible pursuit for citizen scientists and amateur biologists
               who value openess and safety.
The do it yourself movement is rapidly expanding around the
  world as evident by the map below depicting local groups
                  involved in the movement.

Science community must
engage in governance of
powerful knowledge

    International treaties and agreements
   The BWC is the first treaty to ban an entire class of weapons. While it upholds a
    strong moral norm, some nations have flagrantly disregarded it. This has led to an
    attempt to create a verification regime, which failed in 2001. Many experts believe
    that, unlike nuclear weapons, verification for biological weapons is not possible.

   The IHR was originally intended to minimize disruption of trade in times of disease
    emergencies. In 2005, theWHO revised the IHR, transforming the agreement to
    serve as a means of enhancing transparency about disease outbreaks among nations.
    Under the IHR, nations are required to report to the WHO an event constituting a
    ‘‘public health emergency of international concern.’’

   UNSCR 1540 aims to ensure that no state or nonstate actor is a source or beneficiary
    of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation. Under full implementation,
    the actions of each state are intended to strengthen international standards relating to
    the export of sensitive materials and to ensure that nonstate actors do not gain access
    to nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, their means of delivery, or related
    G-8 Nonproliferation Program Faces
            Uncertain Future

   Money could be directed to help developing nations eyeing
    biotechnology as a means of growth to bring their biological security
    standards up to levels established by the Organization for Economic
    Cooperation and Development.

   Program managers must look beyond the "guards, guns and gates" that
    characterize today's nonproliferation approaches.

   Engaging private industry in a way that would incent them in the
    biological area to engage in more rigorous self-regulation.

   http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100815_3867.php
Capacity to respond rapidly and effectively:
     essential elements of biodefense

     Care for the sick

     Protect those who are well

     Minimize social and economic disruption

     Assign attribution for attack
Identification of bioweapons
   Health care providers and public health officers are among the first
    lines of defense
   The growing threat of biowarfare agents and bioterrorism has led to the
    development of specific field tools that perform on-the-spot analysis
    and identification of encountered suspect materials.

     –   One such technology, being developed by researchers from the Laurence Livemore National
         Laboratory (LLNL), employs a "sandwich immunoassay", in which fluorescent dye-labeled
         antibodies aimed at specific pathogens are attached to silver and gold nanowires.

     –   In the Netherlands, the company TNO has designed Bioaerosol Single Paricle Recognition
         Equipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for
         bioweapons attacks in the Netherlands.

     –   Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel are developing a different device called the
         BioPen, essentially a "Lab-in-a-Pen", which can detect known biological agents in under 20
         minutes using an adaptation of the ELISA, a similar widely employed immunological
         technique, that in this case incorporates fiber optics.
       Decontamination challenges

   - Unclear roles and responsibilities
   - Research not coordinated
   - Research underfunded
   - Resources and methods lacking for sampling, testing and
   - Unresolved scientific issues
   - Too few trained personnel
   - Inadequate guidance for building owners

 As bioscience and biotechnology advance, the
  bioterror threat will grow
 Prevention is not only gates, guns and guards.
  Nothing will be done without support from the
  scientific community
 Preparedness is key to biodefense
 Global capacity to mitigate bioterror attack could
  greatly diminish the consequences of natural
  epidemics of infectious diseases

                Useful links
   http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/biologicalweapons.php

   http://www.upmc-

    Questions for the group
 Why biorisk’perception is so different
  among countries? How to assess it? How to
  communicate it?
 As scientists’ education about potential dual
  use nature of most biotechnology
  equipment, facilities, and activities is so
  important, is there a role for the World
  Federation of Scientists?
              Biological warfare in history
 Tartar leader Khan Janibeg is said to have thrown plague corpses into the city
   of Kaffa to infect the inhabitants.
   Japan experiments with Chinese prisoners of war and uses biological weapons
   in attacks on Chinese towns during World War II.
 UK military researchers perform tests with anthrax bombs on the Scottish
   island of Gruinard, rendering the island off limits for people for 50 years.
Until 1969
 The US maintained a huge offensive bioweapons program that produced a
   variety of agents.
 Boris Yeltsin admits the former Soviet Union had a large biological weapons
   program. A 1979 anthrax accident near Sverdlosk cost 100 lives.
 UNSCOM finds final proof for an offensive biowarfare programme in Iraq.
      What Is Decontamination?
   Decontamination is the process of removing or inactivating a hazardous substance (in this case,
    a biological agent) from contaminated environments or surfaces, including skin, clothing,
    buildings, air, and water, in order to prevent adverse health events from occurring. Remediation
    following an attack with a biological weapon will involve a number of different phases of
    response, including:
   Sampling, Testing, and Analysis: During this phase, sampling of the suspected contaminated
    area is done to detect the presence of the biological agent and to characterize the extent and
    levels of contamination. These samples must be tested, either rapidly on the scene (if the
    technology is available) or sent to a laboratory.
   Containment and Mitigation: In this phase, scientists, responders, and decision makers in the
    government assess the risks associated with the attack, including the risks of spreading the agent
    through movement, re-aerosolization, and other methods of dispersion. This risk assessment will
    help determine decontamination methods and timelines.
   Decontamination, Confirmatory Sampling, and Testing: During this phase, decontamination
    methods and technologies would be used to clean the contaminated area and dispose of
    contaminated materials. Cleanup criteria will need to be set and measured to determine when
    decontamination is complete and the area can be reinhabited. This also involves confirmatory
    sampling and may require re-decontamination procedures and further sampling and analysis.

Examples of Biological Agents of Concern and
     Their Stability in the Environment

    Bacillus anthracis (anthrax): very stable in most environments; risk of secondary
     aerosolization unknown.
     Brucella (brucellosis): stable in moist conditions.
    Burkholderia mallei (glanders): stable in water and moist conditions; unstable in dry
     conditions and UV exposure.
    Yersinia pestis (plague): unstable in the outdoor air; stable for years in soil and live
    Francisella tularensis (tularemia): stable in cold, moist conditions; stability following
     intentional aerosolization is uncertain.
    Coxiella burnettii (Q fever): stable for months on wood and sand.
    Variola major (smallpox): unstable: the virus would be nearly completely destroyed in
     the environment after 24 hours.
    Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, etc.): unstable in their natural state; these
     viruses are not expected to persist in the environment.
    Botulinum toxin (botulism): relatively unstable, will degrade naturally in outdoor
     environments within a few days; stable for weeks in food and standing water.
    Ricin: stable in the environment but heat sensitive.
                                                                                                25
   “The single most important failure in the
    history of forecasting has been grossly
    underestimating the impact of technology”

   Peter Schwartz in the art of the long vue

                      COMMITMENTS, July 2010
               Prepared by the U.S. Department of State

   Report Warns of Potential State Bioweapons
    Programs Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

   http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20100810_4143.php


Shared By: