Changing Our World
March 8, 2012 by staff
Changing Our World, Since the tragic attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the terrifying Amerithrax case, the world has become ever so aware of the threat of biological warfare and how very real this threat is. However, innovative companies like PositiveID Corporation (OTCBB: PSID) and their subsidiary MicroFluidic Systems have developed a bioagent detection device that will change how our government and military fight biowarfare.
So, what is bioagent detection anyway? Bioagent detection devices test the air for the presence of deliberately-released biological pathogens that are dangerous enough to be used as a biological weapon. Bacillus anthracis, perhaps the most commonly-known bioagent, causes Anthrax, a typically fatal disease. Because some of these hazardous agents can be made from readily-found ingredients, the need for solid protection against these types of deadly attacks continues to grow.
During the weeks immediately following the September 11 attacks, letters containing highlydeadly anthrax spores were sent via the postal system to several prominent news anchors and media offices, as well as two U.S. Senators. Five people were killed and 17 others were infected. For weeks, American citizens were terrorized by news reports of potentially-lethal exposure and warned of the deathly affects. Fearing for their safety, American demanded protection.
In response, the government formed BioWatch, a program to detect the release of airborne pathogens intended as an attack on major United States cities. The program was described as “the nation’s first early warning network of sensors to detect biological attack” and has included a system of filters located within the Environmental Protection Agency’s air filters. Collected data isanlyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and suspected threats are passed on to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
However, criticism of the BioWatch program has brought some potential issues to the forefront. Many have expressed concerns about relying on the BioWatch system alone and some have pointed out specific points of possible failure in the system, from poor placement of filters in locations that are not optimal or are likely to incur bio attacks, to sizable gaps in coverage. Some noted that the BioWatch filters kill whatever pathogen has activated them, subsequently eliminating the possibility of further scientific testing. Others claim the current filters would be unable to detect indoor or underground bioagent releases, and would therefore, fail to protect our country in an attack.
Since the birth of BioWatch, the U.S. government and Department of Homeland Security have remain focused on keeping us safe from bio warfare attacks and biot*rror*sm. Millions have been spent on research supporting the development of better detection devices. America ‘s demand for a better answer is stronger than ever.
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