Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bioweapons and the disease of war

I was disturbed and intrigued by this article, which reveals once again America's tendency to turn plowshares into swords. A cure for cancer that could potentially become a weapon of war? Sounds all too American to me. We Americans need to recognize that our addiction to war is a disease, far worse than cancer, with potentially lethal consequences for the entire world. 

Biological Weapons: 'There are things worse than death': can a cancer cure lead to brutal bioweapons?
According to John Sotos, the chief medical officer of Intel, the same technology that might someday allow us to defeat illness for good also poses the prospect of tailored diseases attacking individuals, families or even whole races and rewriting their genomes on the fly. Sotos made his remarks at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, a place where hackers gather to share tips and tricks for how to break into almost anything with a circuit board. But during a weekend when attacks were demonstrated against wind farms, voting machines and almost every major smartphone in one fell swoop, Sotos’ nightmare scenario still stood out as plausible and terrifying. The Intel executive, best known for his work over six years as a consultant on the TV show House, argued that the eventual success of Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot”, a US government-funded programme that’s aimed at finding vaccine-based treatments for cancer, would necessarily open up the potential for bioweapons of unimaginable destructive potential. (The Guardian).

This is the theme of my novel "Relics of America," which is now available in a Kindle edition.

Science fiction novel set in 2061. War has been abolished, but this new age of peace and prosperity has come at a terrible cost. In the year 2020, a genetically engineered super-virus, created in an American laboratory, wiped out nearly half of the world's population. American scientists tried to cure this plague, but failed. Humanity was saved only through a miracle drug created by an Egyptian scientist named Dr Hathout who demanded that nations disband their armies before he would share his remedy. Most countries disarmed and received Houtout's cure. Only America stubbornly refused. As a result, its population was decimated by plague. Threatened with extinction, the last Americans were finally given the cure and allowed to live, with their antiquated weapons, in what used to be called New England. The dream of a peaceful world is endangered when Mubarak is abducted by terrorists. A band of intrepid Americans risk everything to restore democracy and freedom.