Saturday, February 5, 2011

Airborne threat sparks terror scare

In a top secret lab on-board the International Space Station, scientists have turned one of the most deadly substances on earth, Botulinum toxin into a lethal airborne biocide.

Botulinum toxin was always considered a potential bioweapon agent because of its extreme potency, lethality and the relative ease of production. The challenge for the ISS team was to produce a modified strain that could be absorbed by inhalation, the military criteria for an effective bioweapon.

Using rDNA technology multiple generations of cultures were developed in secure conditions not available in Earth-based facilities.  The desired characteristic were successfully introduced into the deviant micro-organism, botulinum neurotoxin serotype H.
Projections of fatalities vary according to the weather but, under appropriate meteorological conditions, and with an aerosol generator delivering 1 -10 particle-size droplets, a single aircraft could disperse 100kg of Agent H over a 300km² area with dissemination efficiencies of 3.5 million fatalities.

This is the scenario in Ann Massey’s latest thriller The Biocide Conspiracy when  the President of the USA wakes to the news that that the ISS is about to crash into Australia's Great Sandy Desert.

Ann Massey
Author of:
The White Amah, a mystery set against the backdrop of the timber logging industry in Malaysia. Sample or purchase:
The Biocide Conspiracy, a Young Adult thriller that sweeps readers into the world of biowarfare. Sample or purchase;

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