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Author: Subject: A Salute to Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnett
aliced25
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[*] posted on 25-1-2011 at 22:28
A Salute to Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnett


Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnett OM, AK, KBE - Australia's best known immunologist (Winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize for Medicine) and lesser known virologist, showed that the use of nuclear weapons was an over the top response to continued aggression from the Asiatic hordes during the Cold War. How? He developed a virus that would wipe out the rice crop in the entire region (like the potato blight induced "Irish famine", but on a way bigger scale).

Of lesser note, but of far greater import, was his suggestion to utilize endemic native vectors (such as the ever present Aedes Aegypti) to spread non-native, presumably low-native resistance, virus' or pathogens, in order to destroy whole nations/regions.

This is truly world-class scientific know-how, it quite probably had a direct impact upon the decision making process regarding the employment of nuclear weapons so close to Australia and, in the absence of anything to contradict the same, presumably forms a major part of the arsenal for use against much of the planet's population if push were to come to shove.

In fact, it makes me wonder... How often has the North Korean Rice Harvest failed?

What a wonderfully low-tech approach to WMD... Utilize known-vectors, that are known to be prevalent in the area concerned, to spread a virus that isn't known in the area. If the virus is particularly nasty, then the ability to develop antibodies would be retarded by the high death rate amongst those infected. Quite frankly, in terms of WMD, all you would need to deliver this is some animal that has the disease (generally pigs for most diseases of note) and allow nature to take its course. Avoids all those problems associated with delivery rockets/missiles/other systems/etc. whilst being utterly unstoppable. That is clever, remarkably evil, but clever

However, on this Australia Day, it is fitting to make a tribute to a truly Great Australian. Without the knowledge that we as a nation had this capability, who knows what would have happened with Indonesia during the post-Vietnam era? The span of time, when the USA was unlikely to be willing to come to our aid with any joy whatsoever, it having been decidedly weaned off participating in South-East Asian Adventures at that point in time, and while the Konfrontasi (involving, amongst others, Australian troops in pitched battles with Indonesian troops) was more than a mere concept, more a threat to our security.

[Edited on 26-1-2011 by aliced25]




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crazyboy
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[*] posted on 25-1-2011 at 22:45


Quote:

he said Australia should develop biological weapons that would work in tropical Asia without spreading to Australia's more temperate population centres.


Right... Make an incredibly destructive virus and let it infect hundreds of thousands of people in one of the most populated regions of the world. I'm sure that virus won't stand a chance against Australia's "temperate climate." Is that a fucking joke?!? Look at influenza it mutates so rapidly we have to make a new vaccine every year, you think a virus with hundreds of thousands of hosts will never adapt to a temperate climate or, say the rest of the world?

What a nutjob if he thinks that Australia should single singlehandedly solve Earth's population problem by wiping out a huge chunk of the population. The Earth will eventually reach carrying capacity and people will die. People are already ding because they don't have enough food or water.




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aliced25
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[*] posted on 25-1-2011 at 22:54


Japanese Encephalitis is an example of a major tropical disease, endemic amongst our Northern Neighbors, which has not made it to this Country. Modification of diseases that are well known, and easily vaccinated against (by those employing them - but not by their enemies) is the basis of biological warfare.

More importantly, modified European virus', that we carry the antibodies to, that are not known in Asia, would be immensely effective.

Perhaps even more importantly, a genetic mutation of a virus that selectively destroys opium/morphine poppies, rather than their genetically engineered cousins (that grow predominantly thebaine), that are produced in Tasmania, would be of immense value in the War on Terror. In fact, given that the Thebaine variants are the result of GE to start with, would appear to make it quite possible that diseases affecting natural poppies would have minimal effect on non-natural, genetically engineered mutants.

PS Nutjobs are very seldom awarded Noble Prizes.

PPS The simple fact is that Malaria and Dengue Fever claimed more Japanese Soldiers in New Guinea, than did Australian/American bullets. Very few Australian/American soldiers died from these (a lot contracted them and suffered terribly, but they didn't die). The difference? Medication, Hospitals and lots of care. For that matter, even recently, how many lives have been claimed by a Cholera outbreak in an undeveloped Country (Haiti for instance). A potential high-value (high kill rate) weapon would be to introduce two or more serotypes (ie. DENV-1, DENV-2 & DENV-3) of Dengue Fever to the same area, the combination of the two leads to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, of which half of untreated cases are fatal.

In Northern Australia, two of the Serotypes are endemic to two Cities only 400km apart. The fact is, the DHF is known and with modern medical facilities (and low infection rates), the prognosis is good. With high infection rates and little to no treatment, the kill rate would be up to half the population, while the rest would be feeling shithouse for some time.

[Edited on 26-1-2011 by aliced25]

[Edited on 26-1-2011 by aliced25]




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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 03:43


So why should anyone salute him - plotting the cold-blooded murder of millions doesn't seem particularly worthy???

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cyanureeves
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 12:13


thats as silly as a.i.d.s. for gays only.its like, poison my beans and i'll be eating your veggies tommorrow. i'd rather salute angus young.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 13:22


Nuclear weapons sound more humane, which is saying something. At least you can restrict much of the damage to single cities and/or credibly attempt to destroy the enemy leadership before, rather than after, the weakest and most helpless members of enemy society. Not advocating them, either, just saying that this shows what a horrible idea such a virus is. Can't even target individual countries, long run.

Quote:
How often has the North Korean Rice Harvest failed?


Well, American strategic bombing in the 1950s killed a few million of them after their dams were destroyed, resulting in widespread agricultural failure. Notice that this didn't result in their defeat, either (though I guess that's because of the Chinese). Probably contributed to their slide into totalitarianism, too.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 13:39


Quote:
i'd rather salute angus young.

Yeah, producing the worst ever crap in music fairly pales next to a genocidal mindset . . .

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Sedit
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 13:41


Quote: Originally posted by aliced25  
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_encephalitis]

Perhaps even more importantly, a genetic mutation of a virus that selectively destroys opium/morphine poppies, rather than their genetically engineered cousins (that grow predominantly thebaine), that are produced in Tasmania, would be of immense value in the War on Terror. In fact, given that the Thebaine variants are the result of GE to start with, would appear to make it quite possible that diseases affecting natural poppies would have minimal effect on non-natural, genetically engineered mutants.

[Edited on 26-1-2011 by aliced25]


This would be the most reckless and stupid thing I could ever think of since a very large percentage of our medications in the world are derived from the opium poppy. That wouldn't stop the War on terror either because it would just cause them to resort to other money making ventures. If you wanna stop the terroist I feel the best way would be to send american extremest that hate these people completely as mercenaries. Give them training some weapons and relieve them of military command allowing them to just attack them on there home front with there own type of gorrila tacktics. Im sure after 911 there would have been 1000's of people willing to just pick up a gun and head into hells kitchen with the express concern of killing every terrorist around if not for the complications of being under military command.





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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 14:44


Ah, Sedit, you're not thinking in the proper mindset - one that likes quick, clean-cut, and simple "solutions" to problems' in particular solutions that address the problems as black-and-white.

The rice-killer pathogen is a great idea. The Chinese government, with several hundred nuclear warheads at its disposal, would never think of retaliation against Australia with its think crescent of major cities.



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aliced25
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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 16:42


At the time, 1950's China had not yet entered the pantheon of the Nuclear Powers. In terms of retaliation, given the entire research group was classified, whom would they have blamed?

Why salute such a man? The mere threat, the knowledge that such research had been conducted and that the potential existed, would have (and quite probably did) a major effect on military thinking in the region. I salute anyone who has saved lives as a result of their research, particularly Australian lives. If their research found less-than-humane outcomes for our enemies, real or putative, so be it. IF this had ever been utilized, it would have been a result of China entering the Korean War, in which Australia (amongst many other nations) was a participant.

Also don't forget, the Nobel Prize. His contributions to medicine are still being felt today. What is more humane, to kill through bombing or by reducing crop productivity? Virus' aside, his work would arguably do little more than reverse the effects of improvements in agriculture. The likelihood that any nation would be blamed for a crop-failure? Slim to fuck-all.

But most importantly, we were dealing with the threat of war from totalitarian regimes, totalitarian-scale responses were called for.

As for screwing up the non-genetically modified poppies, Sedit, the majority of medicinal morphine/codeine is now made artificially from the Thebaine-poppy varieties. The vast bulk of non-medicinal heroin is made from Morphine-poppy varieties. As no Nation or group thereof, can effectively win a war while paying to field both sides armies, the poppies have to go. Make poppy growing unviable and all of a sudden other options are viable. The genetic engineering that went into the modified Thebaine-poppy, could be utilized to produce strains that were resistant to whatever pathogen kills unmodified poppies. Remove the poppies from the area and reduce the Taliban's capacity to fight.

Call it artificially enhanced Darwinism, it worked in the America's didn't it? As for the Dengue Fever serotypes, there'd be no way to prove anything in the immediate area, or elsewhere. Having had at least two of them myself, I can guarantee they'd reduce combat effectiveness dramatically, especially if one side had markedly less effective treatment options, then the effect would be lopsided, one army would be hurt by it, but nowhere near as much as the other. In fact, given Australian Army units have normally spent time in NQ, they probably have an appreciable number of dengue-hosts, depending upon which of the two cities (or whether they'd been to the Solomon's when we went there), there'd quite probably be two or more serotypes in the contingents themselves.

[Edited on 27-1-2011 by aliced25]




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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 19:10


Well, one pest that I really could see somebody exterminating with biological warfare is the pine beetle.
These little bastards are doing a lot of damage to the forests in Canada and some places in the U.S.
I don't know a lot about them, but I haven't heard of them as being an important part of the ecosystem....
However, I am probably going to be corrected on that!

Obviously I don't condone exterminating a pest until you have done a LOT of research on the possible results of that action.

Taking out the coca + opium poppies field might be a good idea but you would have to be SURE that however you did it it you wouldn't end up regretting it.

The only way of being reasonably sure of these things it to heavily research them for at least a decade (or more).

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[*] posted on 26-1-2011 at 21:25


Quote:
Also don't forget, the Nobel Prize. His contributions to medicine are still being felt today.
"The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1960 was awarded jointly to Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Peter Brian Medawar for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance" It wasn't for discovering biological weapons. Most technological advancements have the potential capability of being used to murder people in some new way, shape or form. That doesn't mean we should actually listen to those who tell us we have no other choice but to use them as such.

Quote:
What is more humane, to kill through bombing or by reducing crop productivity?
Neither. Do you consider purposely starving innocent civilians and children to death as the only alternative to dropping bombs?

Quote:
The likelihood that any nation would be blamed for a crop-failure? Slim to fuck-all.
Tell that to wikileaks.

Quote:
Make poppy growing unviable and all of a sudden other options are viable.
So you take the money away from the poor farmers in Afghanistan and give it to Mexican cartels. Or Asian gangs. Or drug-lords in [insert impoverished nation here].

Quote:
The genetic engineering that went into the modified Thebaine-poppy, could be utilized to produce strains that were resistant to whatever pathogen kills unmodified poppies.
If this type of rhetoric spreads to America, the "War On Nature" won't be far off.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2011 at 18:03


Hindering staple crops by pathogenic means is only a threat
to developed nations with monoculture crop fields managed
by corporate agribusiness. This sort of attack was practiced
to destabilize Cuba and their response was to return to the
bucolic small farm model. Diversity of crop plants ensures
that the impact will be blunted.

.
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