Bioterrorism as a global threat

A recent editorial published in the Economic Times recognizes bioterrorism as the next major global security threat.

The article, written by Rituparna Chatterjee, draws a line between the science of bioterror and pure science fiction, noting that what is possible is often stranger than fiction, according to

The U.S. Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism predicted that by the end of 2013, an attack using WMD is likely. The commission said that the weapon used will not be nuclear, but biological in nature.

Recent advances in biological research, according to Chatterjee, have aided our overall understanding of genome sequencing, synthetic biology and the creation of Synthia - the first synthetic cell built from scratch - but what scientists discover for good uses can readily be acquired by those seeking to cause harm.

Chatterjee quotes Marc Goodman, a Silicon Valley-based researcher and teacher who sees technological development as growing exponentially, with a myriad of potential benefits and risks. Goodman advises Interpol, the United Nations, NATO and the U.S. government on technology crimes.

"Research in biology is growing almost thrice as fast as Moore's Law. The biological revolution will be upon us faster than anything that we have seen so far...faster than mobile or computing revolutions," Goodman said, reports. "Unfortunately, governments have very little idea of the kind of biological threats. And meanwhile, the bad guys are getting very good at leveraging new technologies in real time."