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Biological Agents

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By Jeremy Rifkin | October 7, 2001
For the first few days after last month's terrorist attacks, we worried about more commercial airplanes being hijacked and used as missiles. Now we are worried about a new, more deadly threat: bacteria and viruses raining from the sky over populated areas, infecting and killing millions of people. Even more troubling is the fact that the genetic engineering technology being used commercially in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry and medicine today is potentially convertible to the development of a wide range of pathogens that can attack plant, animal and human populations.
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NEWS
By Robert Timberg and Robert Timberg,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 14, 2005
WASHINGTON - Terrorist organizations resembling al-Qaida, but more decentralized and increasingly sophisticated, are likely to employ biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox against the United States and other perceived enemies over the next 15 years, according to a sweeping intelligence report released yesterday. "The bioterrorist's laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen, and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster," said the report by the National Intelligence Council, which advises the director of central intelligence and is based at CIA headquarters outside Washington.
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NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 28, 1990
WASHINGTON -- Acting on CIA warnings that Iraq has developed biological weapons, the Pentagon is planning to begin vaccinating U.S. military personnel in the Persian Gulf, military officials said yesterday.A Defense Department spokesman refused to comment yesterday on the plans. But senior administration officials said the Pentagon had recommended proceeding with the inoculation program.The Pentagon plan is part of a broad effort to improve defenses against biological weapons, including the use of masks and protective garments.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 27, 2004
The federal government has responded to the threat of bioterrorism with a spending blitz that has already surpassed the annual cost of the Manhattan Project to build the first atom bomb. But as illustrated by a recent mishap in which a Frederick lab inadvertently shipped lethal anthrax across the country, the biodefense push might be creating new hazards even as it seeks to make the country safer. The flood of new money - $14.5 billion spent since 2001 - has drawn scores of new researchers and facilities into the field, creating more possibilities for the release of anthrax and other "select agents," the legal term for pathogens with bioterrorist potential.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2003
By summer, the Defense Department plans to field a device to detect airborne biological agents that is billed as the world's most advanced system of its kind and the first to be used by all branches of the military. The device, the Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS), is a hallmark in the evolution of biological detection equipment, which has, until a few years ago, taken a back seat to the development of chemical-detection devices. JBPDS "is the next-generation system," said Bill Altman, a project manager with Battelle, a national nonprofit research company with a new laboratory-office complex in Aberdeen that works on chemical and biological defense issues.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2003
By summer, the Defense Department plans to put in the field a device to detect airborne biological agents that is billed as the world's most advanced system of its kind and the first to be used by all branches of the military. The device, the Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS), is a hallmark in the evolution of biological detection equipment, which has, until a few years ago, taken a back seat to the development of chemical-detection devices. JBPDS "is the next-generation system," said Bill Altman, a project manager with Battelle, a national nonprofit research company with a new laboratory-office complex in Aberdeen that works on chemical and biological defense issues.
NEWS
November 6, 2001
The public is invited to a community meeting at 7 o'clock this evening at the Pikesville Hilton, where a panel of experts will discuss the possible threat of biological agents and answer questions. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Maimonides Society will hold a bioterrorism seminar for health care professionals at Beth El Congregation, including a review of resources and protocols.
NEWS
October 12, 2003
Peter Emanuel, a scientist at the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, has been named one of the U.S. Jaycees' 10 Outstanding Young Americans for this year. Emanuel was recognized by the Jaycees for his work in technologies to counter biological weapons. At the Edgewood center, Emanuel has focused on devices for biological sampling and analysis. Among his achievements are development of the BiSKit, a biological sampling kit that is easier for personnel dressed in protective garments to use, and a robotic system for detecting the presence of biological agents in samples.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and By Joel McCord,SUN STAFF | October 17, 2001
Most Marylanders have little, if any, chance of being exposed to anthrax, state and private health officials said yesterday. In a briefing for the House Environmental Matters Committee, Dr. Sue Bailey, a Persian Gulf war veteran and former assistant secretary of defense, said anthrax attacks in the United States during the past week "are so random that I think the risk is virtually zero." Dr. Georges Benjamin, state health secretary, told the committee that growing public fears over the exposures are a more "significant public problem."
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | October 9, 2002
WASHINGTON - Acknowledging a much wider testing of toxic weapons on its forces, the Defense Department says it used chemical warfare and live biological agents during Cold War-era military exercises on American soil, as well as in Canada and Britain, according to previously secret documents cleared for release to Congress on yesterday. Sixteen of the newly declassified reports, prepared by the Pentagon, describe how chemical and biological exercises, until now undisclosed, used deadly substances such as VX and sarin to test the vulnerability of American forces to unconventional attack.
NEWS
By Sebastian Rotella and Sebastian Rotella,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 2, 2004
PARIS - The terror alert that caused the cancellation of several trans-Atlantic flights this weekend was based partly on intelligence that al-Qaida might use chemical, biological or radiological weapons in an aviation attack, a U.S. official familiar with the case said yesterday. "A chemical, biological or `dirty bomb' attack has always been a concern with regard to aviation," said the U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And that was one of the concerns in this case." After the U.S. government warned Saturday of "a specific and credible threat," British Airways canceled two London-to-Washington round trips and a London-to-Miami flight, while Air France grounded two Paris-to-Washington flights.
NEWS
October 12, 2003
Peter Emanuel, a scientist at the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, has been named one of the U.S. Jaycees' 10 Outstanding Young Americans for this year. Emanuel was recognized by the Jaycees for his work in technologies to counter biological weapons. At the Edgewood center, Emanuel has focused on devices for biological sampling and analysis. Among his achievements are development of the BiSKit, a biological sampling kit that is easier for personnel dressed in protective garments to use, and a robotic system for detecting the presence of biological agents in samples.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 8, 2003
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon announced yesterday what may be the first hard evidence of an ongoing illegal weapons program by Saddam Hussein's regime, although further tests will be required on the suspected mobile laboratory before officials can determine whether it was used to produce biological agents. The mobile lab, with a fermenter and other sophisticated gear mounted on a trailer, was found three weeks ago in northern Iraq, officials said. The lab is similar to one described by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in his February address to the United Nations when he presented what he termed "irrefutable and undeniable" evidence that Iraq had active chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and tried to shield them from U.N. weapons inspectors.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2003
By summer, the Defense Department plans to field a device to detect airborne biological agents that is billed as the world's most advanced system of its kind and the first to be used by all branches of the military. The device, the Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS), is a hallmark in the evolution of biological detection equipment, which has, until a few years ago, taken a back seat to the development of chemical-detection devices. JBPDS "is the next-generation system," said Bill Altman, a project manager with Battelle, a national nonprofit research company with a new laboratory-office complex in Aberdeen that works on chemical and biological defense issues.
NEWS
By Lane Harvey Brown and Lane Harvey Brown,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2003
By summer, the Defense Department plans to put in the field a device to detect airborne biological agents that is billed as the world's most advanced system of its kind and the first to be used by all branches of the military. The device, the Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS), is a hallmark in the evolution of biological detection equipment, which has, until a few years ago, taken a back seat to the development of chemical-detection devices. JBPDS "is the next-generation system," said Bill Altman, a project manager with Battelle, a national nonprofit research company with a new laboratory-office complex in Aberdeen that works on chemical and biological defense issues.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 9, 2003
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military is ill prepared to defend its troops against a lethal toxin that is thought to be part of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's biological arsenal, a top military officer said yesterday. Col. Erik Henchal, commander of the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Fort Detrick, Md., told reporters that the Pentagon has few vaccines or treatments for botulinum toxin, a deadly poison that Hussein, after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, admitted making by the thousands of gallons and placing in warheads.
NEWS
By Richard H. P. Siaand Mark Matthews and Richard H. P. Siaand Mark Matthews,Washington Bureau of The Sun | November 14, 1990
(TC WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials now believe that Iraq has developed the capability to arm its ballistic missiles with both chemical and biological weapons, increasing the threat to Israel and the U.S.-led multinational force in the Persian Gulf, government sources said yesterday.But some administration officials and outside defense experts discounted the likelihood of an imminent attack, some asserting that Iraq still needed to overcome several technical obstacles if it expected to fire the missiles accurately and to disperse nerve gas or deadly anthrax spores into the air.Others said they were not convinced that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had any immediate plans to use chemical or biological agents.
TOPIC
By Michael O'Hanlon and Michael O'Hanlon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 30, 2001
IN HIS SPEECH to the Congress and the nation 10 days ago, President Bush wisely announced the creation of a new Cabinet-level office devoted to homeland security and named Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania to lead it. With his military background, wide experience and highly regarded political and personal skills, he is a promising choice. But what should Ridge do with his new job? Most discussion of the president's proposal to date has focused on process and personalities rather than substance.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance, Ariel Sabar and Tom Bowman and Frank D. Roylance, Ariel Sabar and Tom Bowman,SUN STAFF | October 10, 2002
Deadly nerve warfare agents, including VX and sarin, were released in open--air testing conducted at the Edgewood Arsenal in Harford County in 1965 and 1969, according to information released yesterday by the Defense Department. An undisclosed number of U.S. military personnel dressed in protective suits and masks were exposed to the nerve agents in at least some of the Maryland tests. Pentagon officials said not all of them were informed that chemical and biological agents were being used.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | October 9, 2002
WASHINGTON - Acknowledging a much wider testing of toxic weapons on its forces, the Defense Department says it used chemical warfare and live biological agents during Cold War-era military exercises on American soil, as well as in Canada and Britain, according to previously secret documents cleared for release to Congress on yesterday. Sixteen of the newly declassified reports, prepared by the Pentagon, describe how chemical and biological exercises, until now undisclosed, used deadly substances such as VX and sarin to test the vulnerability of American forces to unconventional attack.
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