Genetic Weapons

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Ok, I’m going to comment on the genetic weapons post because, well, I’m a card-carrying Molecular Biologist. (Although now I’m converting into a Capitalist, and hopefully soon, a Plutocrat–my new boss says he’d like to convert me to paid, full-time by July:) (knock on wood)

A genetic weapon targeted to a particular ethnic group is so unlikely as to be impossible. Reasons:

1) There are few known gene variants that are ONLY present in particular ethnic groups.
2) Targeting these DNA stretches or the proteins produced would be extremely difficult, and unlikely to kill the desired numbers of people because of inter-group variations.
3) It would be impossible in a large, diverse group like the 300+ million Arabs, who run the gamut from previously Hellenized Levantine Arabs to half-sub-Saharan African Egyptians/Sudanese to completely mixed-up Yemeni Arabs (who probably have Jewish, East African, Indian and Arab genes) to Moroccan Berbers.

This does remind me of a simple conspiracy theory by Arabs and some other Muslims who ascribe every nefarious motive they think of to the Jews.

As an aside, to all the aspiring bioterrorists or weapons makers out there, it’s much much easier conceptually to simply engineer a virus to be fast-spreading and deadly and then vaccinate your own people against it, while releasing it to your enemies. Of course, the Russians failed at that after 40 years or whatever. But they’re Russians. And you’d have to somehow keep it secret from all the intelligence agencies in the world. And assume your enemies couldn’t quickly develop a vaccine to it on their own, in the midst of your attack (while dealing with the attack with traditional quarantine measures, etc).

All in all….keep working on your nukes. Physics is easy and clean. Biology is complex and messy.

3 Comments

  1. Not, being a molecular Biologist, I can’t claim to know the science well enough, but over at http://www.fromthewilderness.com Their was a recent article stating that a) Race based Bioweapons are being researched agressively around the globe. b)Isreal for example has a HBD based weapons program that is focused on isolating differences between the various Arab populations and their Jewish bretheren. They quoted an Isreali scientist on this question.

    The article is titled “Unholy Grail: the Quest for Genetic Weapons” by Kellia Ramares.

    Unfortunately the article is for subscribers only, so I cannot post the contents.

    I can email to those interested the text of the article, because the copyright does allow that, but the article cannot be posted on the web without permission from FTW.

    In a nutshell, the article quotes active bio-weapons researchers and geneticists from the US, Isreal, and UK on what is being done, and what will soon be possible.

    So, I’m afraid, their is now considerable evidence, that a) HBD based weapons are not only possible, but are being agressively persued.

  2. A genetic weapon targeted to a particular ethnic group is so unlikely as to be impossible. Reasons:

    1) There are few known gene variants that are ONLY present in particular ethnic groups.

    a) A bioweapon targeted at a specific ethnic group wouldn’t necessarily require “gene variants that are ONLY present in particular ethnic groups”.

    b) We would expect a great deal of intergroup variation in genes related to immune function, since past epidemics will have had strong selective effects and different groups have different disease histories.

    While it may be unrealistic to imagine a targetted plague that affects 0% of your people and kills all your enemies, it doesn’t seem at all far-fetched to me that someone could develop a weapon that affects, say, 50% of the enemy and 5% of their own people.

    2) Targeting these DNA stretches or the proteins produced would be extremely difficult, and unlikely to kill the desired numbers of people because of inter-group variations.

    Do you mean “intragroup variation”? This may be true; but again, since we’re talking about immune function, we would expect people to have similar “weaknesses” to other members of their groups, since their ancestors will have faced or not faced similar diseases.

    The obvious example is the effect exposure to European diseases had on Amerindian population of North America. There was no doubt a great deal of genetic variation within the population of Amerindians, but what they had in common was not having been exposed to European diseases.

    Of course, after centuries of world travel, group differences in immune function are unlikely to be as obvious or easy to exploit as they would have been in the case of pre-contact Amerindians. But differences will remain, and with enough research, they may be exploitable.

    3) It would be impossible in a large, diverse group like the 300+ million Arabs, who run the gamut from previously Hellenized Levantine Arabs to half-sub-Saharan African Egyptians/Sudanese to completely mixed-up Yemeni Arabs (who probably have Jewish, East African, Indian and Arab genes) to Moroccan Berbers.

    I do find it relatively unlikely that (at least in the near future) anyone will be able to develop diseases that target Arabs and leave Oriental and Sephardic Jews unscathed. However, with Ashkenazi, the case may be different.

    For example, the CCR5-32 allele that confers some protection against AIDS is found at relatively high levels in northern Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews, probably due to positive selection during a disease event within the past millenium. It’s found at relatively low levels in Sephardic Jews and Arabs.

    Anyway, I don’t see why someone could engineer a virus or bacteria which those who have the CCR5-32 variant are naturally immune to. Of course, the majority of Ashkenazi (much less Sephardic Jews) don’t have this gene, so the majority would still be susceptible. But, I imagine it would be possible to create a disease to which the CCR5-32 allele and several other genes which are present at relatively high levels in your population and low levels in the target population each offer some protection.

    This does remind me of a simple conspiracy theory by Arabs and some other Muslims who ascribe every nefarious motive they think of to the Jews.

    The question of whether or not it’s possible is totally seperate from the question of whether or not the Israelis are working on it. Do you have any reason to believe they’re not?

  3. “The question of whether or not it’s possible is totally seperate from the question of whether or not the Israelis are working on it. Do you have any reason to believe they’re not?”

    It amazes me how the absence of evidence to the contrary of a given speculation is perverted into the possibility of anything, especially when it’s an anything that meets a given groups particular paranoia.

    I suppose I can’t say for sure that the Israelis aren’t trying to recruit Venusians to kill Palestinians, or that the Americans aren’t creating a new bug specific to Arabs that will kill them all and open their oil fields to being taken, or any other possible oddball speculation.

    Genetic weapons would be a crime against humanity. No one has evidence that such weapons are being created, I repeat, there’s NO EVIDENCE. The possibility of such weapons being created “May” exist, but who in the world would get away with using them and not be identified? In the case of such a sophisticated biological weapon anyone who would run the risk of such identification would likely have far more deadly and “controllable” (yes, the Jews are going to create a genetic weapon that will just as likely kill Jews as Arabs given how much shared genetic material is there — let’s remember, they’re both Semetic people) ways of killing the people in question. Nukes are cheaper, easier to use, and don’t tend to come after the user once they’re detonated.

    Bottom line, let’s get real.

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