The virus will spread via insects.
An international group of scientists came to the conclusion that one of the research programmes of the Ministry of defense, involving the spread of viruses by insects, is very similar to attempts to develop a new kind of biological weapons. This is stated in an article published Thursday on the website of the journal Science.
We are talking about a program called Insect Allies (“Insect elays” can be translated as “the Insect allies”). Management of perspective research programs the Pentagon (DARPA – DARPA) has announced that it is in November 2016.
As explained on the website management, the researchers intend to develop a method to infect crops by viruses, transmission of some useful genes that enhance plant resistance. At the same time, to propagate viruses it is supposed by insects, which are their vectors. The program, as stated in DARPA, aims to strengthen food security of the United States and to protect agriculture against various threats, such as drought, disease, and the use of biological weapons by other States.
According to media reports, the program was allocated approximately 45 million dollars. She is approximately four years and must end with a demonstration of developments in the greenhouse.
The authors located in the Science article under the heading “research in the field of agriculture or new biological weapons?” are experts from the University of Montpellier (France), Institute of evolutionary biology, max Planck (Germany) and the University of Freiburg (Germany). “In our opinion, in the context of the stated goals of the program DARPA knowledge, which can be within it, seem very limited in relation to the development of agriculture in the United States or emergency responses in the country (in the short and long term)”, – stated in the publication.
“Moreover, sufficiently, a discussion was held regarding serious practical and normative barriers to the use of perceived benefits in the agricultural sector, – said the scientists. – As a result of this program can be widely seen as an attempt to create with the purpose of causing harm to biological agents and their means of propagation, if this is true, it is a violation of the Convention on the prohibition of biological and toxin weapons Convention (BTWC)”.
Researchers, in particular, are wondering why the virus is expected to spread through insects. Scientists focus on the fact that the same effect probably could be achieved by regular spraying of plants, including from the air. They also point out that in emergencies, on a case which, allegedly, intended program, it will be very difficult to quickly provide mass breeding of insects. The authors encourage professionals to DARPA explain why it is necessary to use insects and state that otherwise the management may be suspected of developing biological weapons.
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