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Must be original due by Wednesday May 24, 2017 10:59pm USA Eastern time.

Must be original due by Wednesday May 24, 2017 10:59pm  USA Eastern time.

Question: 1


 Watch, listen to, or read the interviews with the late Bill Patrick, Ken Alibek, and Serguei Popov (Nova Bioterror "Interview with Biowarriors").  What do you think of these guys?  What has happened to them since this video was made?

Question 2

a.     Environmental Persistance

The viability of biological threat agents in the environment has been documented for more than a century.  For example, it has been over 100 years since Y. pestis was found in soil outside a home where inhabitants were diagnosed with plague. Seventy years since it was found to survive in soil for more than 40 weeks; and, more recently, it was found to survive in bottled water for 100 days.  Other organisms, e.g. Vibrio cholera, formerly believed to become non-viable after a short time in the environment have been recently discovered to enter a state of stasis during which they remain viable yet not easily cultured until the proper growth conditions appear.

While detecting an attack is of paramount concern for biodefense national security advisors.  Another concern for them is identifying the conditions under which a dispersed agent remains viable.  Read the EPA technical brief Persistance of Category A Select Agents in the Environment and EPA Results from Persistence Testing of Biological Agents (2011).

In 2 succinct paragraphs discuss the conditions tested, those conditions that are most conducive to agent survival and the conditions that might be implemented to decrease viabilityMake certain to highlight in your discussion whether or not you are speaking about general environmental survival for Select Agents, in  general, OR if you are highlighting environmental persistence for a specific organism.

 Pawlowski DR, Metzger DJ, Raslawsky A, Howlett A, Siebert G, et al. (2011). Entry of Yersinia pestis into the viable but nonculturable state in a low-temperature tap water microcosm. PLoS ONE 6(3): e17585. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017585

Jubair, M., Morris, J., Ali, A. (2012). Survival of Vibrio cholerae in nutrient-poor environments is associated with a novel ‘‘persister’’ phenotype. PLoSONE 7(9): e45187. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045187

            b. Dual Use Research

This Discussion Prompt is designed not only to help you understand DURC (Dual Use Research of Concern) but also to provide a  thinking "springboard" as you consider possible topics for your Policy Papers:

From United States Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences DURC :

On March 29, 2012, the US Government released the United States Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (“March 2012 DURC Policy”) This action established a U.S. Government policy for DURC as applied to a well-defined subset of life sciences research that involves 15 agents and toxins and seven categories of experiments and established regular review by Federal agencies of U.S. Government-funded or conducted research with certain high-consequence pathogens and toxins for its potential to be dual use research of concern. 

The intent of this Policy is to: (a) mitigate risks where appropriate, and (b) collect information needed to inform the development of an updated policy, as needed, for the oversight of DURC. The fundamental aim of this oversight is to preserve the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research

Dual Use

Read Dual Use and Tech Diff and the abbreviated 4 page document, US Government Policy for Oversite of DURC - 032812 pdf . Who does the DURC Policy apply to?  Does it apply to all organisms or specific ones?  Review Table 1 found in the Suk et al paper.  Discuss how gain of function or another research area of concern might be considered under the heading of "dual use".  Consider in your discussion any ethical or controversial aspects that might overshadow the DURC policy.

            c. Read the Agroterrorism article found in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin - February 2012  then take a look at the one page DHS fact sheet called NATIONAL BIO AND AGRO-DEFENSE FACILITY (NBAF)

In the context of these two selections (and other research you may decided to include), discuss what types of risks might have or should have been considered with the relocation NBAF from Plum Island, New York, to Manhatten, Kansas.

d. Non-state Entities as a Threat

The following is a "longer" read but quite frankly one of the more interesting articles that I've chosen for this course.  The authors for this article include Richard Danzig, Marc Sageman, Terrance Leighton, Lloyd Hough, Hidemi Yuki, Rui Kotani and Zachary M. Hosford.  I'm going to vet three of the authors from internet sources to give you an idea of the underlying depth of knowledge and experience that provides the foundation for  Aum Shinrikyo Insights Into How Terrorists Develop Biological and Chemical Weapons

o     Richard Danzig served as the 71st Secretary of the Navy under Bill Clinton.  

o    Marc Sageman MD PHD is a psychiatrist.  "He is a former CIA Operations Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987 to 1989, where he worked closely with Afghanistan's mujahedin"

o    Lloyd Hough, former Principal Investigator & Senior Scientist at  Battelle National Biodefense Institute.  BNBI is the operator of the NBACC program. The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is a government biodefense research laboratory created by DHS.

As you read the attached document, keep in the back of your mind what type of evidence there is for group organization, group funding, equipment availability,  individual background and/or training related to biological threats.    For this class, chemical threats are not classified in the biological threat category.

In this Discussion Board, write then be prepared to defend your views on the success or failure which the Aum Shinrikyo had in the development and/or release of biological threat agents. As always, further research from primary and/or peer-reviewed sources to support your view(s) is  permitted.

CNAS Aum Shinrikyo Danzig et al. 2011 

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