Mishra: Biological warfare represents largest world threat

A C Mishra, the director of India's National Institute of Virology, spoke on Friday about the dangers of biological warfare and the need for improved research during a conference in Pune.

Mishra made his comments during the first day of a two-day conference on healthcare and research at Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College. He said that while the world successfully eradicated smallpox, the danger grew because of the threat of biological warfare, the Indian Express reports.

"We have got rid of the disease but the danger has multiplied," Mishra said, according to the Indian Express. "The threat of biological warfare is a reality that we face. The type of warfare has changed and terrorists can use viruses as weapons."

Mishra said that for scientific research to succeed in India or any country, there must be political will.

"As long as there is no political will in the country, no research can do anything," Mishra said, according to the Indian Express. "For a program to succeed, you should know how to convince politicians. It is very difficult to convince them unless they get foolproof results."

Mishra praised India's initiative to set up 200 research centers in the nation in the next five years. He said that apart from a few key institutions, the research in India is poor and that better fundamental instruction is needed to improve scientific research, the Indian Express reports.