The dark aspect of biotechnology that is referred to as black biotechnology, involves the deliberate use of pathogens to spread destruction.
When you study what biotechnology is, you came to know that it is the use of living organisms for humanity’s welfare. But there are various colors of biotechnology, and each color represents a specific domain. For example, the red color represents health biotechnology, and the green color represents agricultural biotechnology. In the same way, the black color represents the dark side of biotechnology.
Black biotechnology, also referred to as bioterrorism, involves the deliberate use of biological organisms for bioterrorism, biowarfare to harm people for several purposes. Thus it represents the negative aspects of this innovative science. Bioterrorism is not something new it has been practiced centuries before. The most prominent example of black biotechnology in history is the French distribution of blankets infected with smallpox.
The biological agents used for this purpose are commonly known as bioweapons. The organisms used for the purpose might occur naturally or genetically modified to increase their pathogenicity. Now with the advancements of technology, the bioweapons have become a severe threat. Now more virulent forms of the viruses and bacteria are developed by genetic engineering and cloning techniques. Common examples of organisms used as bioweapons are Smallpox, Ebola, and Anthrax, etc.
Categories of Biological Weapons
There are various categories of biological weapons, according to lethality and pathogenicity. The categories are as follows:
The biological agents included in this category are organisms of the highest priority. These organisms have the highest infectivity and pathogenicity and are responsible for mass destruction. They pose an extreme risk to the national security of the states. Examples of pathogens included in this category are anthrax, smallpox, ebola, bubonic plague, etc.
Category B includes pathogens of the second-highest priority. These organisms have moderate infectivity and mortality rates. They pose less risk than category A agents. Examples of this category include the Zika virus, Salmonella, West Nile virus, and Shigella species.
These are the pathogens of the third highest priority. They have low mortality and infectivity rates, but they can be engineered into more virulent forms and spread mass destruction. This category includes hantavirus, herpes virus, influenza virus, and SARS.
In conclusion, the science of biotechnology is very futuristic, and it provides various solutions to problems. But the deliberate use of science for harmful purposes is illegal and unethical. It destroys the lives of millions of persons; it spreads hunger, etc. Thus, one thing is to make efforts to do responsible science and find out methods to mitigate the biological attacks’ effects. Scientists must do ethical research and protect sensitive data that can play a role in developing such pathogens.