Monday, May 7, 2012

Studies on bird flu virus released

There are a lot of secrets around bioweapons.  And for good reason.

Two teams of scientists were recently engaged in research on bird flu.  Since 2003, there have been 570 cases of bird flu in humans.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize that 60% of the patients died.  In an effort to manufacture a vaccine, scientists altered the genetic structure of the bird flu virus to see if it could be passed as an airborne pathogen.  They found that it can indeed, indicating bird flu's potential for turning into a worldwide pandemic.  The results of these findings were not allowed to be published.

Why?  It should be pretty obvious.  Any bioterrorist would love to get their hands on that data.  It is now known that Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior member of al-Qaeda who was killed in a drone strike, openly supported efforts to attack American population centers with biological weapons.  In 1993, the Japanese cult known as Aum Shinriko experimented with strains of anthrax (not the band) to be implemented in a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system.  Imagine what a set of similar nefarious individuals would do with weaponized bird flu.  No wonder it was deemed to be in the public interest to have the research classified.

Then came a reversal.  The restrictions on the research were later eased and the findings published.  The rationale behind this being that bio-terrorists can’t hold a candle to what good ol’ biology can do.  For example, viruses mutate all the time.  Bird flu may mutate all on its own, making it able to pass from person to person by just coughing or sneezing.  By withholding necessary data from the biotech community, it will become far more difficult to development of a vaccine should this occur.  What’s more, this kind of research may form a foundation for other vaccine creation in the event of a new, super killer virus arriving on the scene.  Don’t laugh.  It’s probably only a matter of time before a new one does.

Logic also dictates that having the data on how to mutate bird flu is one thing.  Taking it and developing actual weapons from it is quite another.  The basic how-to knowledge for building an atomic bomb has been out in the open for quite a while now.  I can remember my 8th grade science teacher drawing on the board a schematic for the original atomic bomb and what was needed for its construction.   Little 14 year-old Jonny however could not create one as the materials needed to do so are extraordinarily difficult to come by.  Good thing, too.  Same goes for viruses.

Yet I feel uneasy.  I mull this sudorific topic over and over and find knots in my stomach.  It is well-known that the military has weaponized versions of both smallpox and anthrax.  The CDC has strains of Ebola in its possession.  It’s easy to see how conspiracy theories can be born of these tidbits.  Yes, there is all that talk of “the NWO is going to release an unstoppable virus to wipe out half the world’s population.”  That’s not what I’m talking about.  What I’m getting at is the theory that HIV is a human engineered virus released into the world.  Perhaps done in the name of reducing the population but more likely in the name of making money.  Think about how much money there is to be made from treating the symptoms of a degenerative disease like HIV rather than curing it?

I don’t think of myself as a “conspiracy theorist,” but sometimes I can’t help but wonder.

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