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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Cookson, Clive, “International Economy: Scientists Convert Virus Into Killer Biowarfare Fear,” THE FINANCIAL TIMES LIMITED, Jan 12, 2001. international economy, pg 15.

Plague, Smallpox, Mousepox, Scientist


Gugliotta, Guy, “Scientists face Security Dilemma: Need for Openness, Secrecy Debated Amid Bioterror Threat,” WASHINGTON POST, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. UCLA dept of Epidemiology.
  2. Rosengard’s Mousepox explained.
  3. Sensitive but unclassified.
  4. quoted scientists in general: Many scientists said controls might be needed, but not if they were going to be imposed from above.”

Mousepox, Scientist, Bioterrorism


Oswald, Racheal, “Synthetic Pathogens Might Pose Bioterror Threat, Scientists Warn,” 10 September 2010, NTI, Last Checked 20 February 2011.

  1. “With the advent of DNA synthesis technology, simply restricting access to the actual pathogen no longer provides the security that it once did. Since the gene sequence is a blueprint, once an organism has been sequenced it can be synthesized without using samples of existing cultures or stock DNA.”
  2. “The problem is that now you can make DNA. For a number of these, you really don’t need to have access to the sample. The genome of these pathogens are in publicly available databases,” said Jean Peccoud, an associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. “For a few thousand dollars you can get the Ebola genome.”
  3. “‘There has not been an incident yet but the technology is very cheap. I think there is definitely a risk. The question is trying to figure out where is the risk,” Peccoud said.”
  4. “Under the auspices of researching and combating infectious agents, scientists in 2008 used synthetic biology to recreate the SARS virus. Three years earlier, researchers successfully reconstructed the 1918 flu virus, which caused a worldwide pandemic estimated to have killed 50 million people.”
  5. “Eventually, it will almost certainly be possible to recreate bacterial pathogens like smallpox. We might also be able to enhance these pathogens.Some work in Australia on mousepox suggests ways of making smallpox more potent, for example. In theory, entirely new pathogens could be created,” Hastings Center Report Editor Gregory Kaebnick said in congressional testimony during a May hearing on Capitol Hill.”

Mousepox, SARS, Smallpox, Bioterrorism