The possibility of manmade viruses aimed at a person’s DNA, which then triggers the virus to let loose its fatal capacities, is well on the horizon of the future. These targeted people will most likely be world leaders, and when these new technologies are developed, the age of biological assassination will commence.
In the United States in particular, President Barack Obama is currently being protected by the Secret Service, who are allegedly collecting various personal items the President has come into contact with, such as dishes he has used. After gaining his genetic material, the personal items are then either destroyed or sanitized in order to prevent future offenders from using his DNA for potential biological weapons, wreaking harm and possible death for the President.
In addition to collecting the DNA of President Barack Obama, the U.S. government is supposedly assembling the genetic material of other nations’ leaders. The U.S. government has stayed confidential about this matter, but the potential advantage for having this genetic material can be seen as an advantage in order for the U.S. to stay ahead of the game.
Jimmy Lin, who is a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and the founder of Rare Genomics, says of the present state of genomics that “we have drugs that target specific cancer mutations. The genetic targeting of individuals is a little farther out. But a state-sponsored program of the Stuxnet variety might be able to accomplish this in a few years. Of course, this work isn’t very well known, so if you tell most people about this, they say that the time frame sounds like science fiction. But when you’re familiar with the research, it’s really feasible that a well-funded group could pull this off.”
While these specialized bioweapons are still in the future, genomic scientists such as Jimmy Lin believe that the potential for these hazards are definitive, and it would be advisable to prepare for the imminent time of personalized biological weapons. Due to the fact that these custom-made bioweapons are targeting only one person, and therefore would have less impact than other forms of weapons, it would be less disastrous yet it could also mean that they might be used more freely and frequently.