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The
primary purpose of this research paper is to inform the reader about
bioterrorism and how the increase in technological developments has allowed for
the advancement of the nation’s biodefense. In itself, bioterrorism is the act
of using biological agents, such as microorganism or toxins, as weapons,
enabling the pushing of personal or political agendas. As the years have
progressed, new technologies have given rise to the possibility of ordinary
citizens effectively reproducing biological agents involved in bioterrorist
attacks. This has thus impacted the way bioweapons are viewed by entities
worldwide. Consequently, this newfound perception of bioterrorism based off of developing
technologies and heightened consequences for the government has brought into
the light its significance in the lives of individuals everywhere.

Based on the previous claims, the
presence of bioterrorism in the world through history has provided the knowledge
required to understand biological warfare. Alakpa and Collins (2015) narrate
that “the utilization of a biological agent can be traced back to as early as
the 4th or 6th centuries BC.” Even before technology’s
reach had the chance to influence how biological weapons could be mass-produced
or even discovered, early civilizations, such as the ones from 600 BC, were
able to recognize the usefulness and the grand impact infectious diseases could
have on entities. Whether battles were being fought or plain vengeance was the goal,
society was capable of converting plagues into a tactic necessary to win or attain
success. Given these details, it is implied that the history of bioterrorism’s
origin serves as a way to better understand the concept of bioterrorism and the
implications brought forth by its introduction into society. Comparatively, Cole
(2012) explains that “gaps present in the nation’s biodefense became evident
when there was a delay in the manner in which individuals affected during the
2001 anthrax attacks were identified and treated.” As a result of these well-known
attacks, numerous consequences ensued, all of which carried with them pieces of
information that ended up revealing more about bioterrorism. For instance, anthrax
was already considered a common agent that had proven its efficiency through
the years, dating back to World War I (Saed, Azam, & Waqas, 2015), but what
was new in the 2001 anthrax attacks was how its spread went undetected,
allowing for the gradual yet unexpected increase in deaths. Such knowledge
still proves its significance in today’s world as it has influenced the manner
in which threats are assessed and combatted. For example, this is displayed
every time individuals have to endure a thorough and exhausting check at the
airport or mail packages are inspected before being shipped. It is thus
suggested that, as the years have progressed, bioterrorism attacks themselves
have helped propelled society’s awareness and understanding of bioterrorism
forward.

            In addition to the longstanding
history that has affected the grasp of the concept itself, the development of
more technology has evidently aided in the progression of bioterrorism. Accordingly,
(Franz, Ehrlich, Casadevall, Imperiale, & Keim, 2009) asserts that “biological
weapons are primarily inexpensive and easy to acquire, be it that the science
behind the making of these weapons is available to almost anyone.” Nowadays,
any individual with access to the Internet can look up information on topics
ranging from nanotechnology to synthetic genomics. In fact, this type of
reading material can even be found in secondary schools. This means that the
proliferation of biological threats has surpassed boundaries such as those
imposed on nuclear weapons, setting new margins that rogue entities and
organization can possibly bypass as advances in technology arise. Moreover,
Hatch (2010) states that “synthetic biology has allowed for pathogenic viruses,
like the 1918 influenza virus and polio virus, to be produced.” Overall, synthetic
biology acts as a way to modify or enhance cellular function, implementing theories
stemming from recombinant DNA technologies. This, in turn, transforms synthetic
biology into something that can facilitate the production and obtainability of
agents involved in bioterrorist attacks, stressing the fact that technology
could actually be utilized in a malevolent manner when discussing bioterrorism’s
growth.

            Not
only have biological attacks affected the information possessed on bioterrorism
and technological advances contributed to its growth, but bioterrorism has also
played a crucial role in the establishment of the nation’s biodefense. Specifically,
Cole (2012) emphasizes how “as a result of the anthrax attacks, approximately $60
billion have been disbursed by the U.S. government in relation to biodefense.”
Following a bioterrorist attack, costs for the citizens, as well as the government,
are bound to follow. Steps needed to make sure that something as destructive
doesn’t occur again, and if it does, that the magnitude of the attack won’t be as
large, will require for the government to instill programs focused on
biodefense. This denotes how the act of bioterrorism takes on more than one
role when it comes to impacting the world

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