Re: Quality & quantity of weapons (was: I was wrong...)

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Nov 25 2001 - 14:09:23 MST

On Sun, 25 Nov 2001, Mike Lorrey wrote:

> Vaccinations are an obvious answer.

Yes, but it can take 4-6 weeks to build an effective immune system
response. By then millions of people might have been infected.

> I think that it's just abominable that we've stopped
> vaccinating for smallpox since 1980. Anthrax and other likely bioweapon
> diseases should also have vaccines widely available in community civil
> defense kits.

The cost benefit ratio was on the side of not vaccinating.
Vaccines can cause severe reactions in certain individuals.
Once we sort out the molecular biology a bit more, we "should"
be able to create much more effective vaccines as well as determine
who should not receive them. But it may take us 10 years to accumulate
sufficient knowledge for that to be the case.

Regarding DNA & radioactivity sensing watches -- I like the idea.
The technology probably isn't "quite" that advanced yet but I could
certainly see it getting there over the next decade. Its a pretty
good MEMS application.

What one really needs is better anti-toxin research. A group at
Harvard has found a way to defeat the anthrax anti-toxin. Similar
work should be done for other agents that might be used as weapons
as well. One would also like to develop enzymes that can rapidly
metabolize various chemical weapons.


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