It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A Question of Bacteriology and Virology / Creating a Superbug.

page: 1
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 29 2016 @ 04:49 PM
link   
Is it possible to manipulate an active gene in order to make it dormant? If so, would that process involve the addition of data? If so, would it be possible to stipulate the half-life of the nucleotides specific to that additional data, without reducing the halflife of the nucleotides involved in the genes themselves? Could the nucleotides in question be made to degrade within a period less than a human lifespan?

In essense, I'm wondering if a bacteria or virus could be engineered in such a way as to plan it's evolution for biological warfare purposes of a discreet nature. I'll give an example of what precisely I'm imagining:

Consider a pathogen contained within a resilient shell, capable of thriving in both warm and cold climates and temperatures. One that can travel on particles of dust, and survive in water. One that's particularly infectious to a variety of animal, including humans and livestock. Imagine that it's transmission rate is thus high, but the pathogen produces no symptoms, leaving it to appear benign. Some years later the nucleotides which identify its dormant genes as dormant degrade, activating its genes in reserve, producing a scheduled and planned evolution. Imagine next that those active genes generate symptoms which produce rapid fatality, and other genes resistant to antibiotics. A cascade of death then ensues.

Is this possible given our current level of understanding?
edit on 29-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 29 2016 @ 04:54 PM
link   

originally posted by: Navarro
Is it possible to manipulate an active gene in order to make it dormant? If so, would that process involve the addition of data? If so, would it be possible to stipulate the half-life of the nucleotides specific to that additional data, without reducing the halflife of the nucleotides involved in the genes themselves? Could the nucleotides in question be made to degrade within a period less than a human lifespan?

In essense, I'm wondering if a bacteria or virus could be engineered in such a way as to plan it's evolution for biological warfare purposes. I'll give an example of what precisely I'm imagining:

Consider a pathogen contained within a resilient shell, capable of thriving in both warm and cold climates and temperatures. One that can travel on particles of dust, and survive in water. One that's particularly infectious to a variety of animal, including humans and livestock. Imagine that it's transmission rate is thus high, but the pathogen produces no symptoms, leaving it to appear benign. Some years later the nucleotides which identify its dormant genes as dormant degrade, activating its genes in reserve, producing a scheduled and planned evolution. Imagine next that those active genes generate symptoms which produce rapid fatality, and other genes resistant to antibiotics. A cascade of death then ensues.

Is this possible given our current level of understanding?


I believe that all the questions you ask are possible, if not already being done.

I am sure you could find some articles to back much of this up.
edit on 29-5-2016 by reldra because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 04:57 PM
link   

originally posted by: reldra
I believe that all the questions you ask are possible, if not already being done.

Incredible. If that's the case, then it would seem that our more easily contained nuclear weapons should be the least of our worries. Humanity is then surely doomed in the most miserable and horrifying way imaginable.



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:00 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

If you're talking about weaponizing a strain of virulent disease to make it more virulent, they select the most horrific kinds with the most virulent traits to begin with.

Being dormant for long periods isn't one of those traits, they want it easily spread but short lived outside the body. Airborne can come back to bite, remaining in the soil where diseased bodies were buried for decades.

Thats why their ain't no life on Monkey Island.



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:12 PM
link   

originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Navarro

If you're talking about weaponizing a strain of virulent disease to make it more virulent, they select the most horrific kinds with the most virulent traits to begin with.

Being dormant for long periods isn't one of those traits, they want it easily spread but short lived outside the body. Airborne can come back to bite, remaining in the soil where diseased bodies were buried for decades.

Thats why their ain't no life on Monkey Island.


The thought which occurred to me wasn't of a scenario in which a government produced a virus for the sake of harming an enemy while killing the infected quickly enough that It'd likely run its course and die out before reaching the assailant that released it. I was imagining a pathogen specifically designed to exterminate as many humans as possible, preferably infecting our entire species before the activation of the genes in reserve, and preferably killing everyone before it could be remedied by cure or other more drastic means.

In essence, I was imagining the work of a mad scientist intent on purging the Earth of humanity, or killing as many as possible in that attempt. Alternately, a government produced Doomsday Weapon. Or perhaps a pathogen of rapid global genocide, where the assailant would inoculate those its regards as worthy of life prior to unleashing it on the world. Massive population reduction for instance.
edit on 29-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:28 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

No matter how many times I'm reminded of this I still get a kick out of it. Man kind never fails to amaze when it comes to new and imaginative ways of wiping our selves out.

www.rense.com...
Admittedly not the best source one could hope for but it wouldn't surprise me at all.


Good old cold war ingenuity. Ebola-Pox

"Russia has researched the genetic alteration of smallpox," Alibek told me. "In 1990 and 1991, we engineered a smallpox at Vector. It was found that several areas of the smallpox genome" -- the DNA -- "can be used for the introduction of some foreign genetic material. The first development was smallpox and VEE. VEE, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis, is a brain virus. It causes a severe headache and near-coma, but it is generally not lethal. Alibek said that the researchers spliced VEE into smallpox. The result was a recombinant chimera virus. In ancient Greek myth, the chimera was a monster made from parts of different animals. Recombination means the mixing of genes from different organisms. "It is called smallpox-VEE chimera," Alibek said. It could also be called Veepox. Under a microscope, Alibek said, the Veepox looks like smallpox, but it isn't.




More recently, Alibek claims, the Vector researchers may have created a recombinant Ebola-smallpox chimera. One could call it Ebolapox. Ebola virus uses the molecule RNA for its genetic code, whereas smallpox uses DNA. Alibek believes that the Russian researchers made a DNA copy of the disease-causing parts of Ebola, then grafted them into smallpox. Alibek said he thinks that the Ebolapox virus is stable -- that is, that it will replicate successfully in a test tube or in animals -- which means that, once created, Ebolapox will live forever in a laboratory, and will not uncreate itself. Thus a new form of life may have been brought into the world.



As far as editing nucleotides in genes to create a delayed effect, I'm not sure nuclear half-lifes work like that when it comes to genes. But I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough on the subject to dig that deep into the weeds.



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:38 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

Something like streptococcus and mycoplasma bacteria or herpes could be what you're thinking about. They spread in most climates and we all carry variations of them. I guess the trick would be splicing your fatal contagion onto existing bacterial strains or into viruses.

I'd be surprised if something similar hasn't already been created and experimented with. It seems like something the major powers would do to prepare for the possibility of their rivals doing it. The devil in the detail is making the killer bug controllable. Something like a specific gene marker could be the trigger to make it active. Until a creator could make it discerning and controllable, there'd be no safeguards for the side wanting to use it.

We couldn't use a gene marker that relates to race or hair colour because our gene pool is so mixed. Maybe there'd be a way of priming a pre-selected population with an inoculation?

ETA -




In essence, I was imagining the work of a mad scientist intent on purging the Earth of humanity, or killing as many as possible in that attempt. Alternately, a government produced Doomsday Weapon. Or perhaps a pathogen of rapid global genocide, where the assailant would inoculate those its regards as worthy of life prior to unleashing it on the world. Massive population reduction for instance.


^^^ Under those circumstances, I'd bet there are labs round the world who could rustle up something that kills massive amounts of people and animals. TB is one of those cross-species killers that could lay waste to livestock, us and other mammals pretty quickly. Prions? I guess a mad bastard with enough resources could certainly make an impression

edit on 5.29.2016 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:43 PM
link   
a reply to: watchitburn
Fascinating. I of course knew that we were producing viruses in this fashion, but I find it incredible each time I hear it described. The sheer audacity. I'm reminded of when we were preparing to test the first hydrogen bomb, and scientists were warning that it may ignite the atmosphere, killing all life on Earth. Yet the probably of our annihilation was deemed acceptable, and the test was thus carried out. Absolutely and completely insane.

The modifying the half-life of nucleotides (or a supplement) was where I was the most uncertain. I know that we believe we've determined the half-life of nucleotides, or perhaps of DNA generally, but in my short search I saw no evidence of research pertaining to the question at hand. I'd personally be shocked if a delayed effect can be presently achieved through such a method, but I'd be equally shocked if it were entirely impossible to ever have this capability. An uneducated "gut" feeling.


edit on 29-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 05:50 PM
link   
antibiotics are doing the job already



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 06:04 PM
link   
a reply to: Kandinsky
The issue of prions is of course of the utmost importance. I imagine that mad scientist would prefer not to spook the world into producing a cure before killing a sufficiently satisfying number of the species. I expect that it would be ignored if it wasn't harming anyone, regardless of its transmission rate. Computer nerds don't usually name their creations "virus.exe" for good reason. They mean not to attract the attention of the user nor antivirus. I'm imagining a trojan rootkit that plays cute until it's infected enough systems, then suddenly unleashes Y2K, transporting the world a century into its past.


I'm excited to hear that you expect it's doable, but I think you'll understand if I say I hope I'm not around to experience any of that excitement. I can think of better ways to die.



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 06:13 PM
link   

originally posted by: syrinx high priest
antibiotics are doing the job already

I don't know. I'm naturally suspicious, so I'm inclined to suspect that the threat posed by antibiotics usage is exaggerated for the purpose of strengthening the argument in favor of prescription medication. The idea is more or less "making all medicines OTC would ultimately hurt more than it would help." Seems to me that the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries stand to gain quite a lot by the current circumstance. In my opinion, it boils down to medicine being withheld unless you bribe someone for a permission slip first, then pay hundreds or thousands of times what the medicine costs to produce.

It's sort've like seat belt laws. They say they're protecting you from yourself, but I expect it's purposed for conditioning and revenue.
edit on 29-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 06:32 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

I can think of one or two members who'll know more about the details you describe. Let's hope they call by



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 07:55 PM
link   
Genes don't have half-lifes.

If I rephrase your OP, are you asking if you can establish a chronic infection in a large group and then have it become virulent across the entire group simultaneously. To which I'd say, it's a bad bet. You will end up with a lot of time for people to become immune to it during its dormant phase. And it will also have a lot of time to mutate. And some of it will go off at the wrong time because bacteria are pesky. So when you start getting a pattern of weird deaths, the bio community will be all over it and find a way to deal with it early. Plus, for all their issues, there are antibiotics. And there are some really crazy good ones that you haven't seen in civilian life yet.

DARPA paid for some research on antibiotics for soldiers a few years back that paid off really big. And one of the unmentioned issues they wanted to address was this sort of thing. There are a lot of weaponized bacteria, and they're designed to be resistant to nearly everything. So a problem was, can we come up with a sort of universal antibiotic that nothing could be designed to resist, and that answer was, oddly, yes. So facing a real challenge, I'm pretty sure the floodgates of artificial defensins would yawn open and then we'd have time to become really annoyed with whoever had spread the thing.

That said, there are other ways of doing this sort of thing. Especially if you don't want to just kill everyone indiscriminately. One way is to include an antigen in a common set of vaccines that you give to the population that is to be saved. Then when your tests show that most of your select folk have antibodies, you release your agent worldwide. Voila! the whole planet has neo-Spanish flu, and is dying in weeks. By the time they discover that there is a core population in the US that's not getting sick, it's too late to do much about it. My kids colonize Greece in about 20 years.
This was a scenario we submitted in one of those wargame/what-if deals - one guy from Foggy Bottom said 'I think we were separated at birth' - they'd submitted a similar one.

Another thing is the lovely wonder of tailored plasmids. You can actually teach bacteria to do things by building little genetic programs for them. Prokaryotes have this really sweet behavior - when they are being attacked by something, they will occasionally encode 'comments' or 'notes' or whatever you want to view it as into little DNA loops called plasmids, and they release them for other bacteria to find. Sort of a germy note in a bottle, describing what's been tried and what worked. If another bacteria, and it doesn't have to be the same species, discovers it, it will often pick it up and parse through it looking for something useful. If it finds something, it will either keep the plasmid and use it as a template for changing, or occasionally it will add it to its own DNA.

This is how one bacteria teaches another how to make a new beta-lactamase or pump structure, and that's how antibiotic resistance spreads from one species of germ to another. One bacteria finds how to cleave the antibiotic into bits, and 'publishes' plasmids with the instructions. If enough of them pick up on this, soon the environment is littered with notes and updates on this and all the bacteria that can pull off the trick do so.

They can also directly swap notes by hooking up with a pili, sort of a bacteria mind-meld, and they can shove gene packets back and forth through the pili.

The trick here is to build your own plasmids. If you seed the opfor's food supply with one plasmid that's attractive to, say, E coli, which you're full of, and you teach them to wait until they see an environmental trigger to go into business making something, say a holotoxin that won't poison the bacteria but is really bad for YOU, then you can have them all primed and ready to go when your Rooskie drinks vodka with some otherwise innocuous looking additive. The additive isn't the poison. But it's a message to your gut bacteria - let fly! and your dosed up Rooskies go to meet Lenin about an hour later.

Lots of ways to do stuff. But what you generally want is a very infectious agent with a medium latency time, that's infectious during a period that you aren't showing symptoms, then has a fast knockdown. That way, you won't know when you're spreading it. The people who are giving it to each other don't yet know they're sick. If they did, they'd be quarantined. So you want something that's maximally infectious with no symptoms at that stage. That's tough to do but can be done. Or you want it to alter your behavior during the infectious stage. Rabies works that way. If the vector is running around biting or hugging uninfected people, voila! It spreads a lot faster. Sort of like some clostridium spreads - it makes the victim thirsty, diarrheic, and nearly immobile. So you head for a water supply like a creek, climb in, and crap your brains out, spreading the bacteria into the water supply so it can infect others.

In the same way, your successful biowarfare agent should make you...affectionate. That's one way.

edit on 29-5-2016 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 07:56 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

I switched peds because 1 gave my kids antib's at the drop of a hat when sometimes I just needed to know they didn't have yellow fever or something, lol

when they prescribe an antibiotic when they suspect a VIRUS they are not helping, they are assuming that you want a prescription if it will help or not



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 07:59 PM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam

this place is great , I learn new stuff all the time !



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 09:13 PM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam
Absolutely fascinating. You seem to be describing communication between viruses, both indirect messaging and direct communication. If you were to tell me that when one virus directly connects to and messages another that the other virus may send a return message, then we'd be talking about conversation. In fact, because the viruses are teaching one another through sharing skills and experiences, you might even argue that we observe culture. Which is ironic, because we're talking about viruses and bacteria. Bacterial cultures. Microbial cultures. A profound statement with a punchline.

In any case, immediately after submitting the original post, I found myself suspecting that the most reasonable approach would probably simply be a finely tuned pathogen as you describe. Not so deadly that it kills the host before it has the opportunity to spread sufficiently, and built to withstand conditions which may hinder its progress while simultaneously possessing multiple methods of transfer. It seems to me that if someone were to take the right components from pathogens already in existence, tune them to a precise ratio to meet the needs of the objective, then you should see the extinction of our species. I suppose it's just a matter of picking the right combination, and no planned evolution is necessary. I hadn't considered that the dormant genes could allow for immunity prior to their activation, though I did recognize the issue of mutation likely spoiling our mad scientists plans.

I was hoping for a unique and certain method though. Something that spreads like a rumor, behaves as innocent as a kitten, is as patient as a crocodile, yet suddenly pounces like a cheetah, and attacks with the ferocity of a black bear. What do you suppose would have humanity's number, Bedlam?



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 10:42 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

I believe you could do it with one of the CRISPR/Cas tools.

I don't think this is being treated with the seriousness that it warrants. If one were anile enough, one could completely synthesize extinct strains of dangerous pathogens, even if they no longer exist as anything but genome data.

If you were a scientist and already working in that area, access to the full genomes of extinct pathogens would not be that hard.

And, knowing that it is unlikely that we will find out anything more about smallpox, why are the US and Russia (and who knows whom else) keeping live smallpox on ice?

The pathogen, now extinct in the wild, should be completely destroyed.

edit on 29/5/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2016 @ 11:05 PM
link   
a reply to: Navarro




I was hoping for a unique and certain method though. Something that spreads like a rumor, behaves as innocent as a kitten, is as patient as a crocodile, yet suddenly pounces like a cheetah, and attacks with the ferocity of a black bear


Here's your wish. 50+ specialists all aided in the creation of this antibiotic resistant infection. It is both internal and external :



Why would you want this?



posted on May, 30 2016 @ 12:10 AM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

You want something truly horrific, you might want to consider something subtle. A virus that acts like juvenile hormone does with bugs, for instance. If your kid got to be about 10-11 months old and stopped. Forever. You could spread the virus among all the females in the population, affect all their eggs, and it be over with and irreparable before you knew it had happened.

Or a virus that causes women to ovulate all their eggs at once.



posted on May, 30 2016 @ 12:15 AM
link   
a reply to: Navarro

Why bother? If you have that level of manipulation of the genome, there are much easier ways to wipe out humanity. A really decent flu. A really decent Ebola. Or Justin Bieber.



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join