|Weapons of mass destruction|
Biological warfare (BW)—also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons (often termed "bio-weapons", "biological threat agents", or "bio-agents") are living organisms or replicating entities (viruses, which are not universally considered "alive") that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military acronym for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these are conventional weapons, which are primarily due to their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.
Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some of the chemical weapons, biological weapons may also be useful as area denial weapons. These agents may be lethal or non-lethal, and may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or even an entire population. They may be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may also be considered bioterrorism.
There is an overlap between biological warfare and chemical warfare, as the use of toxins produced by living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are often referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are typically characterized by shorter incubation periods.
Offensive biological warfare, including mass production, stockpiling and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The rationale behind this treaty, which has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013, is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure. Many countries, including signatories of the BWC, currently pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, which is not prohibited by the BWC.
A nation or group that can pose a credible threat of mass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield.
As a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, and therefore might not immediately stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, pneumonic plague) have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets. This feature can be undesirable, as the agent(s) may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or even friendly forces. While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of virtually all nations.
|Part of a series about|
Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity. During the 6th century BC, the Assyrians poisoned enemy wells with a fungus that would render the enemy delirious. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe.
It has been claimed that the British Marines used smallpox in New South Wales in 1789. Historians have long debated inconclusively whether the British Army used smallpox against Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763.
By 1900 the germ theory and advances in bacteriology brought a new level of sophistication to the techniques for possible use of bio-agents in war. Biological sabotage—in the form of anthrax and glanders—was undertaken on behalf of the Imperial German government during World War I (1914–1918), with indifferent results. The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons.
With the onset of World War II, the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom established a BW program at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests was contaminated with anthrax for the next 56 years. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.
When the USA entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources, led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck. The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.
The most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shirō Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use. Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns. In 1940, the Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague. Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, although up to 400,000 people may have died. During the Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign in 1942, around 1,700 Japanese troops died out of a total 10,000 Japanese soldiers who fell ill with disease when their own biological weapons attack rebounded on their own forces.
During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. The plan was set to launch on 22 September 1945, but it was not executed because of Japan's surrender on 15 August 1945.
In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses, but the programme was unilaterally cancelled in 1956. The United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever and others.
In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated production of biological weapons, allowing only scientific research for defensive measures. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on "development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research" in 1972. However, the Soviet Union continued research and production of massive offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. By 2011, 165 countries had signed the treaty and none are proven—though nine are still suspected—to possess offensive BW programs.
Modern BW operations
It has been argued that rational state actors would never use biological weapons offensively. The argument is that biological weapons cannot be controlled: the weapon could backfire and harm the army on the offensive, perhaps having even worse effects than on the target. An agent like smallpox or other airborne viruses would almost certainly spread worldwide and ultimately infect the user's home country. However, this argument does not necessarily apply to bacteria. For example, anthrax can easily be controlled and even created in a garden shed; the FBI suspects it can be done for as little as $2,500 using readily available laboratory equipment. Also, using microbial methods, bacteria can be suitably modified to be effective in only a narrow environmental range, the range of the target that distinctly differs from the army on the offensive. Thus only the target might be affected adversely. The weapon may be further used to bog down an advancing army making them more vulnerable to counterattack by the defending force.
Ideal characteristics of a biological agent to be used as a weapon against humans are high infectivity, high virulence, non-availability of vaccines, and availability of an effective and efficient delivery system. Stability of the weaponized agent (ability of the agent to retain its infectivity and virulence after a prolonged period of storage) may also be desirable, particularly for military applications, and the ease of creating one is often considered. Control of the spread of the agent may be another desired characteristic.
The primary difficulty is not the production of the biological agent, as many biological agents used in weapons can often be manufactured relatively quickly, cheaply and easily. Rather, it is the weaponization, storage and delivery in an effective vehicle to a vulnerable target that pose significant problems.
For example, Bacillus anthracis is considered an effective agent for several reasons. First, it forms hardy spores, perfect for dispersal aerosols. Second, this organism is not considered transmissible from person to person, and thus rarely if ever causes secondary infections. A pulmonary anthrax infection starts with ordinary influenza-like symptoms and progresses to a lethal hemorrhagic mediastinitis within 3–7 days, with a fatality rate that is 90% or higher in untreated patients. Finally, friendly personnel can be protected with suitable antibiotics.
A large-scale attack using anthrax would require the creation of aerosol particles of 1.5 to 5 µm: larger particles would not reach the lower respiratory tract, while smaller particles would be exhaled back out into the atmosphere. At this size, conductive powders tend to aggregate because of electrostatic charges, hindering dispersion. So the material must be treated to insulate and neutralize the charges. The weaponized agent must be resistant to degradation by rain and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, while retaining the ability to efficiently infect the human lung. There are other technological difficulties as well, chiefly relating to storage of the weaponized agent.
Agents considered for weaponization, or known to be weaponized, include bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, some of the Rickettsiaceae (especially Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia rickettsii), Shigella spp., Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia pestis. Many viral agents have been studied and/or weaponized, including some of the Bunyaviridae (especially Rift Valley fever virus), Ebolavirus, many of the Flaviviridae (especially Japanese encephalitis virus), Machupo virus, Marburg virus, Variola virus, and Yellow fever virus. Fungal agents that have been studied include Coccidioides spp..
Toxins that can be used as weapons include ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, botulinum toxin, saxitoxin, and many mycotoxins. These toxins and the organisms that produce them are sometimes referred to as select agents. In the United States, their possession, use, and transfer are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Select Agent Program.
The former US biological warfare program categorized its weaponized anti-personnel bio-agents as either Lethal Agents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, Botulinum toxin) or Incapacitating Agents (Brucella suis, Coxiella burnetii, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin B).
The United States developed an anti-crop capability during the Cold War that used plant diseases (bioherbicides, or mycoherbicides) for destroying enemy agriculture. Biological weapons also target fisheries as well as water-based vegetation. It was believed that destruction of enemy agriculture on a strategic scale could thwart Sino-Soviet aggression in a general war. Diseases such as wheat blast and rice blast were weaponized in aerial spray tanks and cluster bombs for delivery to enemy watersheds in agricultural regions to initiate epiphytotics (epidemics among plants). When the United States renounced its offensive biological warfare program in 1969 and 1970, the vast majority of its biological arsenal was composed of these plant diseases. Enterotoxins and Mycotoxins were not affected by Nixon's order.
Though herbicides are chemicals, they are often grouped with biological warfare and chemical warfare because they may work in a similar manner as biotoxins or bioregulators. The Army Biological Laboratory tested each agent and the Army's Technical Escort Unit was responsible for transport of all chemical, biological, radiological (nuclear) materials. Scorched earth tactics or destroying livestock and farmland were carried out in the Vietnam war (cf. Agent Orange) and Eelam War in Sri Lanka.
Biological warfare can also specifically target plants to destroy crops or defoliate vegetation. The United States and Britain discovered plant growth regulators (i.e., herbicides) during the Second World War, and initiated a herbicidal warfare program that was eventually used in Malaya and Vietnam in counterinsurgency operations.
In 1980s Soviet Ministry of Agriculture had successfully developed variants of foot-and-mouth disease, and rinderpest against cows, African swine fever for pigs, and psittacosis to kill chicken. These agents were prepared to spray them down from tanks attached to airplanes over hundreds of miles. The secret program was code-named "Ecology".
Attacking animals is another area of biological warfare intended to eliminate animal resources for transportation and food. In the First World War, German agents were arrested attempting to inoculate draft animals with anthrax, and they were believed to be responsible for outbreaks of glanders in horses and mules. The British tainted small feed cakes with anthrax in the Second World War as a potential means of attacking German cattle for food denial, but never employed the weapon. In the 1950s, the United States had a field trial with hog cholera. During the Mau Mau Uprising in 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used to kill cattle.
Outside the context of war, humans have deliberately introduced the rabbit disease Myxomatosis, originating in South America, to Australia and Europe, with the intention of reducing the rabbit population – which had devastating but temporary results, with wild rabbit populations reduced to a fraction of their former size but survivors developing immunity and increasing again.
Entomological warfare (EW) is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to attack the enemy. The concept has existed for centuries and research and development have continued into the modern era. EW has been used in battle by Japan and several other nations have developed and been accused of using an entomological warfare program. EW may employ insects in a direct attack or as vectors to deliver a biological agent, such as plague. Essentially, EW exists in three varieties. One type of EW involves infecting insects with a pathogen and then dispersing the insects over target areas. The insects then act as a vector, infecting any person or animal they might bite. Another type of EW is a direct insect attack against crops; the insect may not be infected with any pathogen but instead represents a threat to agriculture. The final method uses uninfected insects, such as bees, wasps, etc., to directly attack the enemy.
Research and development into medical counter-measures
In 2010 at The Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction in Geneva the sanitary epidemiological reconnaissance was suggested as well-tested means for enhancing the monitoring of infections and parasitic agents, for practical implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The aim was to prevent and minimize the consequences of natural outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases as well as the threat of alleged use of biological weapons against BTWC States Parties.
Role of public health and disease surveillance
Indeed, in the largest biological weapons accident known– the anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Soviet Union in 1979, sheep became ill with anthrax as far as 200 kilometers from the release point of the organism from a military facility in the southeastern portion of the city and still off limits to visitors today, see Sverdlovsk Anthrax leak).
Thus, a robust surveillance system involving human clinicians and veterinarians may identify a bioweapons attack early in the course of an epidemic, permitting the prophylaxis of disease in the vast majority of people (and/or animals) exposed but not yet ill.
For example, in the case of anthrax, it is likely that by 24–36 hours after an attack, some small percentage of individuals (those with compromised immune system or who had received a large dose of the organism due to proximity to the release point) will become ill with classical symptoms and signs (including a virtually unique chest X-ray finding, often recognized by public health officials if they receive timely reports). The incubation period for humans is estimated to be about 11.8 days to 12.1 days. This suggested period is the first model that is independently consistent with data from the largest known human outbreak. These projections refines previous estimates of the distribution of early onset cases after a release and supports a recommended 60-day course of prophylactic antibiotic treatment for individuals exposed to low doses of anthrax. By making these data available to local public health officials in real time, most models of anthrax epidemics indicate that more than 80% of an exposed population can receive antibiotic treatment before becoming symptomatic, and thus avoid the moderately high mortality of the disease.
Common epidemiological clues that may signal biological attack
1. Single cause of a certain disease caused by an uncommon agent, with lack of an epidemiological explanation.
2. Unusual, rare, genetically engineered strain of an agent.
3. High morbidity and mortality rates in regards to patients with the same or similar symptoms.
4. Unusual presentation of the disease.
5. Unusual geographic or seasonal distribution.
6. Stable endemic disease, but with an unexplained increase in relevance.
7. Rare transmission (aerosols, food, water).
8. No illness presented in people who were/are not exposed to "common ventilation systems (have separate closed ventilation systems) when illness is seen in persons in close proximity who have a common ventilation system."
9. Different and unexplained diseases coexisting in the same patient without any other explanation.
10. Rare illness that affects a large, disparate population (respiratory disease might suggest the pathogen or agent was inhaled).
11. Illness is unusual for a certain population or age-group in which it takes presence.
12. Unusual trends of death and/or illness in animal populations, previous to or accompanying illness in humans.
13. Many affected reaching out for treatment at the same time.
14. Similar genetic makeup of agents in effected individuals.
15. Simultaneous collections of similar illness in non-contiguous areas, domestic, or foreign.
16. An abundance of cases of unexplained diseases and deaths.
Identification of bioweapons
The goal of biodefense is to integrate the sustained efforts of the national and homeland security, medical, public health, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities. Health care providers and public health officers are among the first lines of defense. In some countries private, local, and provincial (state) capabilities are being augmented by and coordinated with federal assets, to provide layered defenses against biological weapon attacks. During the first Gulf War the United Nations activated a biological and chemical response team, Task Force Scorpio, to respond to any potential use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians.
The traditional approach toward protecting agriculture, food, and water: focusing on the natural or unintentional introduction of a disease is being strengthened by focused efforts to address current and anticipated future biological weapons threats that may be deliberate, multiple, and repetitive.
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 Lawrence Livermore 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 Particle Recognition eQuipment (BiosparQ). This system would be implemented into the national response plan for bioweapon 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.
Theoretically, novel approaches in biotechnology, such as synthetic biology could be used in the future to design novel types of biological warfare agents. Special attention has to be laid on future experiments (of concern) that:
- Would demonstrate how to render a vaccine ineffective;
- Would confer resistance to therapeutically useful antibiotics or antiviral agents;
- Would enhance the virulence of a pathogen or render a nonpathogen virulent;
- Would increase transmissibility of a pathogen;
- Would alter the host range of a pathogen;
- Would enable the evasion of diagnostic/detection tools;
- Would enable the weaponization of a biological agent or toxin
Most of the biosecurity concerns in synthetic biology, however, are focused on the role of DNA synthesis and the risk of producing genetic material of lethal viruses (e.g. 1918 Spanish flu, polio) in the lab. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas system has emerged as a promising technique for gene editing. It was hailed by The Washington Post as "the most important innovation in the synthetic biology space in nearly 30 years." While other methods take months or years to edit gene sequences, CRISPR speeds that time up to weeks. However, due to its ease of use and accessibility, it has raised a number of ethical concerns, especially surrounding its use in the biohacking space.
List of BW institutions, programs, projects and sites by country
- Fort Detrick, Maryland
- Project Bacchus
- Project Clear Vision
- Project SHAD
- Project 112
- Horn Island Testing Station
- Fort Terry
- Granite Peak Installation
- Vigo Ordnance Plant
- Porton Down
- Gruinard Island
- Operation Vegetarian (1942-1944)
- Open-air field tests:
Soviet Union and Russia
- Biopreparat (18 labs and production centers)
- Stepnagorsk Scientific and Technical Institute for Microbiology, Stepnogorsk, northern Kazakhstan
- Institute of Ultra Pure Biochemical Preparations, Leningrad, a weaponized plague center
- Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR), a weaponized smallpox center
- Institute of Applied Biochemistry, Omutninsk
- Kirov bioweapons production facility, Kirov, Kirov Oblast
- Zagorsk smallpox production facility, Zagorsk
- Berdsk bioweapons production facility, Berdsk
- Bioweapons research facility, Obolensk
- Sverdlovsk bioweapons production facility (Military Compound 19), Sverdlovsk, a weaponized anthrax center
- Institute of Virus Preparations
- Poison laboratory of the Soviet secret services
- Project Bonfire
- Project Factor
- Unit 731
- Zhongma Fortress
- Kaimingjie germ weapon attack
- Khabarovsk War Crime Trials
- Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department
- Grosse Isle, Quebec, site (1939–45) of research into anthrax and other BW agents
- Experimental Station Suffield, Suffield, Alberta
List of people associated with BW
- Includes scientists and administrators
- Shyh-Ching Lo
- Kanatjan Alibekov, known as Ken Alibek
- Ira Baldwin
- Wouter Basson
- Kurt Blome
- Eugen von Haagen
- Anton Dilger
- Paul Fildes
- Arthur Galston (unwittingly)
- Kurt Gutzeit
- Riley D. Housewright
- Shiro Ishii
- Elvin A. Kabat
- George W. Merck
- Frank Olson
- Vladimir Pasechnik
- William C. Patrick III
- Sergei Popov
- Theodor Rosebury
- Rihab Rashid Taha
- Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda
- Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash
- Nassir al-Hindawi
- Erich Traub
- Auguste Trillat
- Baron Otto von Rosen
- Yujiro Wakamatsu
- Yazid Sufaat
Writers and activists:
In popular culture
- Animal-borne bomb attacks
- Antibiotic resistance
- Asymmetric warfare
- Baker Island
- Biological contamination
- Chemical weapon
- Discredited AIDS origins theories
- Entomological warfare
- Ethnic bioweapon
- Exotic pollution
- Herbicidal warfare
- Human experimentation in the United States
- John W. Powell
- Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System
- Plum Island Animal Disease Center
- Project 112
- Project AGILE
- Project SHAD
- McNeill's law
- Ten Threats
- Yellow rain
- Wheelis, Mark; Rózsa, Lajos; Dando, Malcolm (2006). Deadly Cultures: Biological Weapons Since 1945. Harvard University Press. pp. 284–293, 301–303. ISBN 0-674-01699-8
- Gray, Colin. (2007). Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare. Page 265 to 266. Phoenix. ISBN 0-304-36734-6.
- Biological Weapons Convention
- Archived 30 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Informaworld link". Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Mayor, Adrienne (2003). Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Duckworth. ISBN 978-1-58567-348-3.
- Wheelis, Mark (2002). "Biological warfare at the 1346 siege of Caffa". Emerg Infect Dis. Center for Disease Control. 8 (9): 971–5. doi:10.3201/eid0809.010536. PMC 2732530. PMID 12194776.
- Barras, Vincent; Greub, Gilbert (2014). "History of biological warfare and bioterrorism". Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 20 (6): 497–502. doi:10.1111/1469-0691.12706.
- Andrew G. Robertson, and Laura J. Robertson. "From asps to allegations: biological warfare in history," Military medicine (1995) 160#8 pp: 369-373.
- Rakibul Hasan, "Biological Weapons: covert threats to Global Health Security." Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies (2014) 2#9 p 38. online
- Christopher, Warren (2013). "Smallpox at Sydney Cove - Who, When, Why". Journal of Australian Studies. doi:10.1080/14443058.2013.849750#preview. See also History of biological warfare#New South Wales, First Fleet#First Fleet smallpox, and History wars#Controversy over smallpox in Australia.
- Fenn, Elizabeth A. "Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst". Journal of American History. 86 (4): 1552–1580. doi:10.2307/2567577. JSTOR 2567577.
- Koenig, Robert (2006), The Fourth Horseman: One Man's Secret Campaign to Fight the Great War in America, PublicAffairs.
- Prasad, S.K. (2009). Biological Agents, Volume 2. Discovery Publishing House. p. 36. ISBN 9788183563819.
- Covert, Norman M. (2000), "A History of Fort Detrick, Maryland", 4th Edition: 2000.
- Guillemi n, J. (2006). "Scientists and the history of biological weapons: A brief historical overview of the development of biological weapons in the twentieth century". EMBO Reports. 7 (Spec No): S45–S49. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400689. PMC 1490304. PMID 16819450.
- Williams, Peter; Wallace, David (1989). Unit 731: Japan's Secret Biological Warfare in World War II. Free Press. ISBN 0-02-935301-7.
- Hal Gold, Unit 731 testimony, 1996, p.64-66
- Barenblatt, Daniel (2004). "A Plague upon Humanity". HarperCollins: 220–221.
- Hudson, Christopher (2 March 2007). "Doctors of Depravity". Daily Mail.
- Chevrier & Chomiczewski & Garrigue 2004, p. 19.
- Croddy & Wirtz 2005, p. 171.
- Naomi Baumslag, Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and Typhus, 2005, p.207
- "Weapons of Mass Destruction: Plague as Biological Weapons Agent". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Amy Stewart (25 April 2011). "Where To Find The World's Most 'Wicked Bugs': Fleas". National Public Radio.
- Russell Working (5 June 2001). "The trial of Unit 731". The Japan Times.
- Ken Alibek and K Handelman (1999), Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World Trade From the Inside by the Man Who Ran It, New York, NY: Random House.
- "26 Countries' WMD Programs; A Global History of WMD Use - US - Iraq War - ProCon.org". Usiraq.procon.org. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Loner Likely Sent Anthrax, FBI Says". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
- "Anthrax Facts | UPMC Center for Health Security". Upmc-biosecurity.org. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- Kenneth Alibek and S. Handelman. Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World – Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran it. 1999. Delta (2000) ISBN 0-385-33496-6 .
- "Potential bioweapons". Clinical Immunology. 111: 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2003.09.010. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- "Vietnam's war against Agent Orange". BBC News. 14 June 2004. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Verdourt, Bernard; Trump, E.C.; Church, M.E. (1969). "Common poisonous plants of East Africa". London: Collins: 254
- "An Introduction to Biological Weapons, Their Prohibition, and the Relationship to Biosafety", The Sunshine Project, April 2002. Retrieved 25 December 2008. Archived 12 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Lockwood, Jeffrey A. Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War, Oxford University Press, USA, 2008, pp. 9–26, (ISBN 0195333055).
- Ouagrham-Gormley S. Dissuading Biological Weapons Proliferation. Contemporary Security Policy [serial online]. December 2013;34(3):473-500. Available from: Humanities International Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed 28 January 2015.
- Guillemin, J. (2013). The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History. Politics & The Life Sciences, 32(1), 102-105. doi:10.2990/32_1_102
- Wilkening D. Modeling the incubation period of inhalational anthrax. Medical Decision Making [serial online]. 1 July 2008;28(4):593-605. Available from: Scopus®, Ipswich, MA. Accessed 28 January 2015.
- Toth D, Gundlapalli A, Adler F, et al. Quantitative Models of the Dose-Response and Time Course of Inhalational Anthrax in Humans. Plos Pathogens [serial online]. August 2013;9(8):1-18. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed 28 January 2015.
- Treadwell, Tracee (March–April 2003). "Epidemiological Clues to Bioterrorism". Public Health Reports. 118: 93–94. doi:10.1093/phr/118.2.92.
- "Physorg.com, "Encoded Metallic Nanowires Reveal Bioweapons", 12:50 EST, 10 August 2006.". Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- "BiosparQ features". Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Genuth, Iddo ; Fresco-Cohen, Lucille (13 November 2006). "BioPen Senses BioThreats", The Future of Things Archived 30 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kelle A (2009) Security issues related to synthetic biology. Chapter 7. In: Schmidt M, Kelle A, Ganguli-Mitra A, de Vriend H (eds) Synthetic biology. The technoscience and its societal conse- quences. Springer, Berlin
- Garfinkel, M., Endy, D., Epstein, G., and Friedman, R. (2007). In Synthetic Genomics: Options for Governance. Available at: http://www.jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/syngen-options/overview/.
- National Security Advisory Board on Biotechnology (NSABB) (2010). Addressing Biosecurity Concerns Related to Synthetic Biology. Available at: http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/pdf/NSABB%20SynBio%20-DRAFT%20Report-FINAL%20(2)_6-7-10.pdf. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- M.Buller, The potential use of genetic engineering to enhance orthopox viruses as bioweapons. Presentation at the International Conference ‘Smallpox Biosecurity. Preventing the Unthinkable’ (21–22 October 2003) Geneva, Switzerland
- Kelle A. 2007. Synthetic Biology & Biosecurity Awareness In Europe . Bradford Science and Technology Report No.9
- Tumpej TM et al. 2005. Characterization of the Reconstructed 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Virus. Science Vol. 310(5745):77–80
- Cello, J.; Paul, A. V.; Wimmer, E. (2002). "Chemical synthesis of poliovirus cDNA: generation of infectious virus in the absence of natural template". Science. 297: 1016–1018. doi:10.1126/science.1072266. PMID 12114528.
- Wimmer, E.; Mueller, S.; Tumpey, T. M.; Taubenberger, J. K. (2009). "Synthetic viruses: a new opportunity to understand and prevent viral disease". Nat. Biotechnol. 27: 1163–1172. doi:10.1038/nbt.1593. PMC 2819212. PMID 20010599.
- Basulto, Dominic (2015-11-04). "Everything you need to know about why CRISPR is such a hot technology". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- Kahn, Jennifer (2015-11-09). "The Crispr Quandary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "CRISPR, the disruptor". Nature News & Comment. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- Shyh-Ching Lo
- "Interview: Dr Kanatjan Alibekov". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- "Dr. Ira Baldwin: Biological Weapons Pioneer". American History. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- Ute Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, trans Thomas Dunlap (Harvard 1996). http://books.google.com.bz/books?id=gPrtE4K0WC8C&pg=PA173&dq=kurt+blome&hl=en&ei=P3o3TOLMBMKCnQe39rTVAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=kurt%20blome&f=false
- Leyendecker, B.; Klapp, F. (1989). "Human hepatitis experiments in the 2d World War". Zeitschrift für die gesamte Hygiene und ihre Grenzgebiete. 35 (12): 756–760. PMID 2698560.
- Maksel, Rebecca (14 January 2007). "An American waged germ warfare against U.S. in WWI". SF Gate. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- Chauhan, Sharad S. (2004). Biological Weapons. APH Publishing. p. 194. ISBN 81-7648-732-5
- Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel for the American Military Tribunals at Nurember, 1946. http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0124-000.htm
- "Obituary: Vladimir Pasechnik". The Daily Telegraph. London. 29 November 2001. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- "Anthrax attacks". Newsnight. BBC. 14 March 2002. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- "Interviews With Biowarriors: Sergei Popov", (2001) NOVA Online.
- "US welcomes 'Dr Germ' capture". BBC. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- Paul Maddrell, "Operation Matchbox and the Scientific Containment of the USSR", in Peter J. Jackson and Jennifer L. Siegel (eds) Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society. Praeger, 2005.https://books.google.com/books?id=I3Q3_Ww-5SMC&pg=PA194&dq=erich+traub&hl=en&ei=DyJ_TPDPI4vEsAOvq_nwCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CE4Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=erich%20traub&f=false
- "Jamie Bisher, "Baron von Rosen's 1916 Anthrax Mission," 2014". Baron von Rosen's 1916 Anthrax Mission. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- Yazid Sufaat works on anthrax for al-Qaeda, GlobalSecurity.org
- "MIT Security Studies Program (SSP): Jeanne Guillemin". MIT. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- Lewis, Paul (4 September 2002). "Sheldon Harris, 74, Historian Of Japan's Biological Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- Miller, Judith (2001). Biological Weapons and America's Secret War. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 67. ISBN 0-684-87158-0.
- "Matthew Meselson – Harvard – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs". Harvard. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- Chevrier, Marie Isabelle; Chomiczewski, Krzysztof; Garrigue, Henri, eds. (2004). The Implementation of Legally Binding Measures to Strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute, Held in Budapest, Hungary, 2001. Volume 150 of NATO science series: Mathematics, physics, and chemistry (illustrated ed.). Springer. ISBN 140202097X. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Croddy, Eric A.; Wirtz, James J., eds. (2005). Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jeffrey A. Larsen, Managing Editor. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851094903. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Alibek, K. and S. Handelman. Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World– Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran it. Delta (2000) ISBN 0-385-33496-6
- Appel, J. M. Is all fair in biological warfare? The controversy over genetically engineered biological weapons, Journal of Medical Ethics, Volume 35, pp. 429–432 (2009).
- Crosby, Alfred W., Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900 (New York, 1986).
- Dembek, Zygmunt (editor), Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare; Washington, DC: Borden Institute (2007).
- Endicott, Stephen and Edward Hagerman, The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, Indiana University Press (1998). ISBN 0-253-33472-1
- Fenn, Elizabeth A. (2000). "Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst". Journal of American History. 86 (4): 1552–1580. doi:10.2307/2567577. JSTOR 2567577.
- Keith, Jim (1999). Biowarfare In America. Illuminet Press. ISBN 1-881532-21-6
- Knollenberg, Bernhard, "General Amherst and Germ Warfare," Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1954), 41#3 489–494. British war against Indians in 1763 in JSTOR
- Leitenberg, Milton, and Raymond A. Zilinskas. The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History (Harvard University Press, 2012) 921 pp
- Mangold, Tom & Goldberg, Jeff (1999). Plague Wars: a true story of biological warfare. Macmillan, London. ISBN 0-333-71614-0
- Maskiell, Michelle, and Adrienne Mayor. "Killer Khilats: Legends of Poisoned Robes of Honour in India. Parts 1 & 2." Folklore [London] 112 (Spring and Fall 2001): 23–45, 163–82.
- Mayor, Adrienne, Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World. Overlook, 2003, rev. ed. 2009. ISBN 1-58567-348-X.
- Orent, Wendy (2004). Plague, The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease. Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY. ISBN 0-7432-3685-8
- Pala, Christopher (19??), Anthrax Island
- Preston, Richard (2002), The Demon in the Freezer, New York: Random House.
- Rózsa, Lajos (2009). "The motivation for biological aggression is an inherent and common aspect of the human behavioural repertoire" (PDF). Medical Hypotheses. 72: 217–219. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.06.047.
- Warner, Jerry; Ramsbotham, James; Tunia, Ewelina; Vadez, James J. (May 2011). Analysis of the Threat of Genetically Modified Organisms for Biological Warfare. Washington, DC: National Defense University. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Woods, Lt Col Jon B. (ed.), USAMRIID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook, 6th edition, U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland (April 2005).
- Zelicoff, Alan & Bellomo, Michael (2005). Microbe: Are we Ready for the Next Plague?. AMACOM Books, New York, NY. ISBN 0-8144-0865-6
- Biological weapons and international humanitarian law, ICRC
- WHO: Health Aspects of Biological and Chemical Weapons
- "Biological Warfare". National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- U.S Army site