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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Scientific Change and the Security Environment: Biotechnology and security to 2025

Developments in the life and associated sciences are going to make it increasingly cheap and easy for more and more states, sub-state groups and individuals to do greater and greater harm. Furthermore, the historical record suggests that it will be very difficult to stop major hostile applications of this powerful technology.

The old distinctions between chemical and biological weapons have become increasingly meaningless as chemistry becomes indistinguishable from biology, and it is important to grasp the fact that these weapons are not just potential weapons of mass destruction, but can be used on a range of lesser scales. And the prevailing conditions to 2025 could be conducive to a resurgence of these weapons - unless very strenuous efforts are made to prevent that happening.