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Biological weapons.

  • Audio

About this work


How good is security in British microbiology laboratories? Do British labs have procedures to deal with the release of dangerous organisms? Could scientists from countries like Iraq learn, at British universities, techniques they might use for biological terrorism? Are science researchers cleared for security? Could terrorists prepare resistant strains of viruses by manipulating sequences of DNA? This programme makes it abundantly clear that Britain is vulnerable to biological attacks, 40% of acute hospitals have no protection. There is potential for good or evil in the manipulation of genetic material - Tony Minson forsees the elimination of viruses such as those of tuberculosis or polio - but the same methods could create more virulent strains. The material can be ordered from labs, or information downloaded from the internet. Science will always run ahead of efforts to control it.


London : BBC Radio 4, 2002.

Physical description

1 sound cassette (40 mins)


24th November 2002

Creator/production credits

Presented by Jeremy Northam. Other participants are Dr Helena Brown; Prof. Jim Ryan (UCL); Dr Vanya Gant (UCL Hospital); David Harrison (Birmingham Uni, Health & Safety); Dr Andrew Doag (UMIST); Prof Brian Spratt (Royal Society); Dr Trevor Jones (Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries); Prof. Tony Minson (Cambridge); Andrew McKinley MP; Dr Ian Gibson (Uni of East Anglia); Dr Joseph Selkon (Oxford); Tim Dowse (Foreign Affairs, Non-proliferation Dept);



  • English

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