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Bill Gates: Terrorists could wipe out 30 million people by weaponising a disease like smallpox
A bioterrorist attack which could wipe out 30 million people is becoming increasingly likely because it is easier than ever to create and spread deadly pathogens, Bill Gates has warned.
“Bioterrorism is a much larger risk than a pandemic,” he said. “All these advances in biology have made it far easier for a terrorist to recreate smallpox, which is a highly fatal pathogen, where there is essentially no immunity remaining at this point.
Chemistry kits which allow genetic editing can already be bought online for under £100. Scientists are concerned that a new technique, called Crispr, is now so cheap and widely available that amateurs will start experimenting at home, or in school labs. The technique works like genetic scissors to cut away DNA code and replace it with new genes. It has been hailed as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in recent years, but there are fears that in the wrong hands, the procedure could unleash dangerous strains of bacteria or other organisms. Kits to make E.coli resistant to antibiotics are already for sale on the internet.
Bill Gates: Terrorists could wipe out 30 million people by weaponizing a disease like smallpox
They did, but it has been eradicated from the earth now other than in the vaults in Russia and U.S where it is stored by each under agreement.
In early 2003, a decision was made to reinstitute smallpox vaccination for selected segments of the US population on the basis of concern that smallpox could be used as an agent of bioterrorism.