The article behind today’s blog literally left my mind reeling when I read it, and it comes courtesy of an individual who has requested to remain completely anonymous to the extent I cannot even refer to the individual’s initials, but nonetheless, thank you; you know who you are.

In this case, the “article” in question is not an article, it’s a 2019 US Air Force study titled Next Generation Bioweapons: Genetic Engineering and BW, by Michael J. Ainscough, which bills itself as US Air Force Counerproliferation Center Future Warfare Series No. 14. The whole study is worth a read, particularly with what’s going on now:

Next Generation Bioweapons

When the individual who brought this study to my attention sent it, pages 270 and 271 were highlighted. Here’s what they say:

3) Gene Therapy as a Weapon: Gene therapy will revolutionize the treatment of human genetic diseases. The goal is to effect a permanent change in the genetic composition of a person by repairing or replacing a faulty gene. Genes have already been spliced into bacteria to produce ―human‖ insulin in large quantities. The eventual goal is to splice a gene that codes for the production of insulin into human pancreatic tissue to cure diabetes. Similar research is progressing on adding in the missing gene to prevent the symptoms of cystic fibrosis. However, the same technology could be subverted to insert pathogenic genes.

There are two general classes of gene therapy: germ-cell line (reproductive) and somatic cell line (therapeutic). Changes in DNA in germ cells would be inherited by future generations. Changes in DNA of somatic cells would affect only the individual and could not be passed on to descendants. Manipulation of somatic cells is subject to less ethical scrutiny than manipulation of germ cells.

This concept has already been used to alter the immunity of animals. The vaccinia virus (a poxvirus used to make immunization against smallpox) has been used as a vector to insert genes in mammalian cells. This genetically engineered virus has been used successfully to produce an oral vaccine to prevent rabies in wildlife.

Research for similar gene splicing in humans continues for possible vectors to carry the replacement genes to their targets. As has been done for animals, there is potential for human ―vaccination‖ against certain diseases, or as a targeted delivery capability for therapeutic drugs or cytotoxic effects.

One class of experimental vectors is the retroviruses which permanently integrate themselves into human chromosomes. HIV, which causes AIDS, is a retrovirus. So it should not be hard to understand that gene therapy might have sinister capability.

A viral vector has already produced a lethal strain of mousepox virus. The genetically manipulated virus completely suppressed the cell-mediated response (the arm of the immune system that combats viral infections) of the lab mice. Even mice previously vaccinated against the natural mousepox virus died within days of exposure to the super virus. Mousepox (which does not infect humans) and smallpox are related viruses. If smallpox were to be similarly genetically manipulated, our current vaccine may not protect against it. These vectors are not yet very efficient in introducing genes into tissue cells. But if a medical technique is perfected, similar vectors might eventually be used to insert harmful genes into an unsuspecting population.

Techniques for cloning tissues and embryos continue to advance. Reproductive (germ-cell) cloning aims to implant a cloned embryo into a woman‘s uterus leading to the birth of a cloned baby. Therapeutic (somatic cell) cloning aims to use genes from a person‘s own cells to generate healthy tissue to treat a disease. For example, such cloning could be used to grow pancreatic cells to produce insulin to treat diabetes, or to grow nerve cells to repair damaged spinal cords. Already sheep, mice, swine, and cattle have been cloned. However, success (defined as births of live animals) rates are low. Initial cloning work with human embryos to produce omnipotent stem cells has been reported. Theoretically, the stem cells could in turn grow into virtually any cell type and serve as replacement tissue in diseases like diabetes. Researchers have also used a virus to insert a jellyfish gene into a rhesus monkey egg and produced the first genetically altered primate. The use of embryos and germ cells has raised many ethical questions.(Boldface emphasis added)

Now, the relevance of all of this to what’s going on now would seem apparent. But immediately following this section there is another, and it raises a possibility that makes me wonder if we might be looking at the very scenario it mentions:

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