From: "Paul F Austin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Orbital kills
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 21:45:31 -0400
Ralph Savelsberg wrote
>> Eric Pinnell wrote
>> > "L'acrobat" wrote:
>> > Most bio
>> > weapons are virtually useless, as the agents either do not spread
>> > quickly, or have vaccines against them.
>> > Another reason bio weapons aren't really that useful is their
>> > annoying tendency to mutate. You could develop a nice Ebola hybrid
>> > that kills people, but if it mutates into a different strain, any
>> > antidotes you have might not be effective.
>> As above.
>Actually, antibiotics don't work against anthrax. Anthrax is a virus, not a
Nope. Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) is a bacterium. The reason it's the
favorite among BW types is that the Anthrax bacillus forms spores that can
survive for 20 years or so.
There's a recent book ("Biohazard" by Ken Alibek) by the former assistant
director of the FSU/Russian bio-program. It's hair raising reading. Anthrax
is a favorite for discussion because of the spores. It's easy enough to pick
a pathogen with the lethality required but it's very tough to find the
combination of lethality, infectiousness and transmissibility that a really
good weapon requires. If it were otherwise, we'd all be dead now. Imagine
HIV as infectious as measles...
What the Sovs did was invent micron sized capsules into which _any_ pathogen
could be inserted. That solves the transmission problem. The capsule
protects the contents for a few days, after which normal environments break
them down. The capsules float in the air like dust and as few as ten to
twenty capsules are enough to cause infection. The capsule approach also
solves the runaway plague problem since you don't need a highly infectious
agent. The capsules allow the user to manufacture what amounts to a war gas
with _tremendous_ toxicity, good persistence and no residual effect.
With this kind of weapon, antidotes and vaccines are nice but not essential.
You can dose an area, wait out the decay period for the delivery capsules
and wait for all the cases to develop, then move in with impunity.
According to Alibek, the FSU manufactured encapsulated Marburg in ten ton
lots along with other pathogens. The Russians are still doing it. I'm afraid
Eric's GodSat isn't that puissant after all.
Conscience, that quiet voice that says "Someone may be watching"
Paul F Austin