Going back as far as 2002, different medical associations around the world have raised the alarms on the potential for bioweapons targeting certain ethnic groups to become more widespread. A targeted bioweapon could target distinct ethnic groups based on certain genetic differences between the races.
With the advent of CRISPR and more widespread modification of genome components, this risk increases greatly. The construction of genetic weapons is no longer necessarily “approaching a reality”. It is the reality. Different genetic components could contain different agents (such as the CDC reports) specifically instructed under an edited genome to only activate when genes of a certain race are detected.
Why is this a reality now? Well, for one, CRISPR. For two, the vectors capable of causing harm are growing in number and understanding. Three, anti-biotic resistance does not help. Four, a better understanding of the human genome. Five, the hundreds of thousands of new ways we have discovered to disrupt genes.
It is no doubt that the same technological advancements which could end up curing a plethora of diseases (CRISPR/CAS9) could also end up bringing about the first massive bioterrorist attack.
Consider the risk if a targeted bioweapon only managed to affect even just 30% of the target population. The end result would still be catastrophic in terms of lives lost, societal security, and worldwide stability.
And it wouldn’t be hard to specifically target one race over another, either. There are easy to track mutations in our genome based on race. Not to mention clear cut health indicators that could also be targeted.
They are no longer on the “possible” list, but are actually something that a micro-biologist could create today.
Oddly enough, it is something that is not discussed much. By news or scientists. Instead, we focus on hailing these technological advancements as things that could never be harmful, only beneficial to medicine.
I wonder if they also hailed the first steps in nuclear research under the same breath.