Genetic engineering is the modification of the structure of genetic material in a living organism, which involves the production and use of recombinant DNA. Already a controversial topic, it was recently announced that, “the next generation of genetically engineered life will more than likely possess a novel trait known as ‘gene drive’ that literally spreads gene alterations like a virus within the host population, whether it is a plant or an animal.” While genetic engineers may be enthusiastic about its potential for good, some scientists are concerned about it getting into the wrong hands. The self-replicating technology could eventually turn genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) into covert bio-weapons and these weapons would be able to destroy crops, livestock…and humans.
So, the focus on gene drive is the latest in scientists’ attempts to manipulate nature. In this case, the goal is to eliminate undesirable outcomes such as mosquito-borne illnesses, which include various types of encephalitis, West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, Rift Valley fever and yellow fever. Gene drive technology has the potential to ‘address global problems in health,’ but it also has the potential to significantly worsen global health issues. It has the capability of contaminating the entire food chain with irreversible genetically-modified traits.
According to an article in Shift Frequency:
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“In a letter in the peer-reviewed journal Science, a cohort of 27 leading geneticists has urged the scientific community to take a step back and consider the ways in which gene drive technology poses serious risks to human health and the environment. In essence, the technology gives genetic butchers the ability to ignite a chain reaction of genetic changes that can’t be stopped, effectively transforming an entire population of life within just a few generations.
‘Just as gene drives can make mosquitos unfit for hosting and spreading the malaria parasite, they could conceivably be designed with gene drives carrying cargo for delivering lethal bacterial toxins to humans,’ warns David Gurwitz, a geneticist from Tel Aviv University in Israel.
‘The additional genetic elements of Crispr (a type of gene drive technology) cause a chain reaction where the mutation is passed between chromosomes in the same organism, causing up to 97 per cent inheritance in resulting offspring-generations,’ explains The Independent about gene-drive inheritance.”
CRISPR is a quick and inexpensive gene editing method that involves the delivery of Cas9, an enzyme, into the target DNA of a given organism. Once that is accomplished, the enzyme begins editing the DNA–to either disrupt target genes or insert desired consequences into them. And, for better or worse (probably worse), it only costs around $30. It has been referred to as being “democratized,” meaning it is available to pretty much anyone who wants it. So, you can see how this could lead to some very disastrous results. It is considered to be an extremely dangerous weapon.
Some disturbing geophysical weapons are also, reportedly, in development. Geophysics can be described as the physics of the earth and its environment, including meteorology, oceanography and seismology. It has been predicted, that in the near future, wars will be fought with considerably more devastating weapons than airstrikes, tanks and nuclear weapons. This new breed of weapons “will be based on energy, electromagnetic, radiological, geophysical and genetic principles.” This will likely include special information weapons, currently in development, which could alter a person’s perception–which means, users of this technology would have the ability to completely change people’s minds.
The targets of these potent weapons will be main control centers, essential facilities, technology, infrastructures and people.
Bio-terrorism can be unleashed as a mass attack or customized for a specific individual. Via synthetic biology, terrorists can target a selected individual by using that individual’s own unique DNA. And, don’t forget about the radiation guns (a.k.a. zombie guns) that Russia was working on back in 2012. Utilizing electromagnetic radiation, these guns viciously attack a victim’s central nervous system, which renders the victim into a zombie-like state. This technology is expected to be completed by the end of the decade.
The process of essentially hacking an individual’s DNA will be relatively easy to accomplish. Easier than getting a hold of nuclear weapons, for example. So, the prospect of a terrorist group, such as ISIS, gaining access to these weapons is a real possibility.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/4339b41e545d25db46c347d5115e8aae?s=128&d=mm&r=g[/author_image] [author_info]Candice is a writer/editor at The Blacksphere, in addition to writing for The Christian Post, Red State and Medium. She is the Science & Tech Editor at the Minority Report Blog and the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Front Lines. Candice also works as a computer consultant. [/author_info] [/author]