Theprimary purpose of this research paper is to inform the reader aboutbioterrorism and how the increase in technological developments has allowed forthe advancement of the nation’s biodefense. In itself, bioterrorism is the actof using biological agents, such as microorganism or toxins, as weapons,enabling the pushing of personal or political agendas. As the years haveprogressed, new technologies have given rise to the possibility of ordinarycitizens effectively reproducing biological agents involved in bioterroristattacks. This has thus impacted the way bioweapons are viewed by entitiesworldwide.
Consequently, this newfound perception of bioterrorism based off of developingtechnologies and heightened consequences for the government has brought intothe light its significance in the lives of individuals everywhere.Based on the previous claims, thepresence of bioterrorism in the world through history has provided the knowledgerequired to understand biological warfare. Alakpa and Collins (2015) narratethat “the utilization of a biological agent can be traced back to as early asthe 4th or 6th centuries BC.” Even before technology’sreach had the chance to influence how biological weapons could be mass-producedor even discovered, early civilizations, such as the ones from 600 BC, wereable to recognize the usefulness and the grand impact infectious diseases couldhave on entities. Whether battles were being fought or plain vengeance was the goal,society was capable of converting plagues into a tactic necessary to win or attainsuccess. Given these details, it is implied that the history of bioterrorism’sorigin serves as a way to better understand the concept of bioterrorism and theimplications brought forth by its introduction into society. Comparatively, Cole(2012) explains that “gaps present in the nation’s biodefense became evidentwhen there was a delay in the manner in which individuals affected during the2001 anthrax attacks were identified and treated.” As a result of these well-knownattacks, numerous consequences ensued, all of which carried with them pieces ofinformation that ended up revealing more about bioterrorism.
For instance, anthraxwas already considered a common agent that had proven its efficiency throughthe years, dating back to World War I (Saed, Azam, & Waqas, 2015), but whatwas new in the 2001 anthrax attacks was how its spread went undetected,allowing for the gradual yet unexpected increase in deaths. Such knowledgestill proves its significance in today’s world as it has influenced the mannerin which threats are assessed and combatted. For example, this is displayedevery time individuals have to endure a thorough and exhausting check at theairport or mail packages are inspected before being shipped.
It is thussuggested that, as the years have progressed, bioterrorism attacks themselveshave helped propelled society’s awareness and understanding of bioterrorismforward. In addition to the longstandinghistory that has affected the grasp of the concept itself, the development ofmore technology has evidently aided in the progression of bioterrorism. Accordingly,(Franz, Ehrlich, Casadevall, Imperiale, & Keim, 2009) asserts that “biologicalweapons are primarily inexpensive and easy to acquire, be it that the sciencebehind the making of these weapons is available to almost anyone.
” Nowadays,any individual with access to the Internet can look up information on topicsranging from nanotechnology to synthetic genomics. In fact, this type ofreading material can even be found in secondary schools. This means that theproliferation of biological threats has surpassed boundaries such as thoseimposed on nuclear weapons, setting new margins that rogue entities andorganization can possibly bypass as advances in technology arise. Moreover,Hatch (2010) states that “synthetic biology has allowed for pathogenic viruses,like the 1918 influenza virus and polio virus, to be produced.
” Overall, syntheticbiology acts as a way to modify or enhance cellular function, implementing theoriesstemming from recombinant DNA technologies. This, in turn, transforms syntheticbiology into something that can facilitate the production and obtainability ofagents involved in bioterrorist attacks, stressing the fact that technologycould actually be utilized in a malevolent manner when discussing bioterrorism’sgrowth. Notonly have biological attacks affected the information possessed on bioterrorismand technological advances contributed to its growth, but bioterrorism has alsoplayed a crucial role in the establishment of the nation’s biodefense.
Specifically,Cole (2012) emphasizes how “as a result of the anthrax attacks, approximately $60billion have been disbursed by the U.S. government in relation to biodefense.
“Following a bioterrorist attack, costs for the citizens, as well as the government,are bound to follow. Steps needed to make sure that something as destructivedoesn’t occur again, and if it does, that the magnitude of the attack won’t be aslarge, will require for the government to instill programs focused onbiodefense. This denotes how the act of bioterrorism takes on more than onerole when it comes to impacting the world