CBC In Depth
INDEPTH: BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
Biowar dictionary
CBC News Online | February 18, 2004

Aflatoxin - a toxin created by bacteria that grow on stored foods,especially peanuts, rice and cotton seeds.

Al Hakam � an Iraqi biological production facility on the Tigris River 60 kilometres southwest of Baghdad. UN inspectors say the Iraqis produced bacillus anthracis (anthrax) weapons there.

Alibekov Anthrax � a form of weapons grade anthrax, developed by Ken Alibek (Kanatjan Alibekov) that is said to be four times more deadly than natural anthrax.

Anthrax � a contagious bacterial disease that can spread from animals to man which can infect lung, intestinal and nervous system.

ATP � adenosine triphosphate. A key chemical in all living cells, which governs how the cell uses energy.

Aum Shinrikyo � The Japanese cult that released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway.

Bacillus anthracis � the anthrax bacteria.

Bacteria � single cell or multicellar living creatures, with a simple nucleus, which can reproduce rapidly . Some can form themselves into a cyst when environmental conditions are harsh. Bacteria that could be used for biological warfare include anthrax, brucellosis, cholera, glanders, meningitis, plague and tularemia.

BDS - British Biological Detection System, deployed during the Gulf War. It uses luciferarse, the enzyme produced by fireflies to detect ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is present in all living cells, as an indicator of possible biological weapons.

BIDS - Acronym for US Army's Biological Integrated Detection Systems. A detector that samples the air for biological weapons

Biopreparat - The Russian biological weapons program. The secret program involved 35,000 workers, including 9,000 scientists working at laboratories at 47 sites across the former Soviet Union.

Black Death - bubonic plague, which devastated Europe in the 14th Century AD.

Blackpox - the disease that could be caused by Ebola pox.

Botox - Botulism toxin

BWC - Biological Weapons Convention,1972

BW - Biological Warfare

CBDCOM - the U.S. Chemical and Biological Defence Command

CBIRF - the U.S. Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, an American Marine Corps. rapid response team that deals with chemical and biological warfare threats. It's been called a germ warfare 911.

Compound 19 - a secret Russian biological weapons facility at Sverdlovsk.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons - A 1972 treaty that prohibits the development, possession and storing of bioweapons and the development of systems to develop weapons. Short name is Biological Weapons Convention or BWC.

COLPRO - Collective Protection units for protection against chemical and biological weapons.

Corpus One - A containment building at the Russian biowarfare facility at Obolensk.

CSIS - Canadian Security Intelligence Service

CWC - Chemical Weapons Convention.

CW - Chemical weapons, including chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, mustard gas, sarin, VX.

DARPA - U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Ebolapox - A genetic combination of Ebola and smallpox, said to have been developed by Russian biological weapons experts. Parts of the Ebola virus were grafted into a smallpox virus.

Ekaterinburg � new name for the Russian city of Sverdlovsk where the anthrax disaster occurred.

Febrile Disease � a disease that causes fever.

Fomite � an object, other than food, that can convey infection, such as bedding or clothing.

FSU � Former Soviet Union.

Geneva Protocol 1925 � The 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use In War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. The first treaty to prohibit the use of biological weapons.

Glanders � a contagious bacterial disease that causes inflammation in horses, donkeys and mules.

GUOMO �Directorate of the (Russian) Ministry of Defence (Glavnoye Upravleniye Ministertvo Oborony). Russia's 12th Guomo handles nuclear weapons.

IPE - Individual Protective Equipment for chemical and biological agents.

Johnston Atoll - a U.S. open-air biological weapons test facility in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers southwest of Hawaii.

JSCMAD � US Joint Service Chemical Miniature Agent Detector. A small US-developed battlefield chemical weapons detector.

LD50 - a lethal dose of a substance that kills 50 % of those infected.

Marburg virus - a virus similar to Ebola that causes a hemorrhagic (bleeding) fever and has been identified as a potential biological weapon.

MOD - Ministry of Defence (UK).

MVD - Acronym for the Russian Ministry of the Interior.

Obolensk � A Russian biowarfare facility.

Oblask � a Russian word meaning military district.

Omutninsk � A Russian biological warfare facility.

ONR � U. S. Navy Office of Naval Research.

Paralytic cobra toxin � the toxin produced by the cobra. There are reports the Russians have used recombinant DNA to introduce venom producing genes into bacteria.

Protein toxin � a small poisonous molecule, produced naturally from bacteria or plants. Botulinum toxin, most often found in contaminated food, is one of the deadliest toxins.

Rebirth Island � A Russian biological weapons testing ground in the Aral Sea, used for open-air testing of weapons.

Ricin � a highly poisonous protein toxin from castor oil plant. A weapons grade was developed by the KGB and used by the Bulgarian Secret Service to assassinate defectors.

Rickettsia � a parasitic micro-ogranism, intermediate between bacteria and viruses, often found in lice, ticks, mites and fleas that can cause typhus or Q-fever, which has flu-like symptoms.

Sergiyev Posad � A Russian Ministry of Defence biological weapons northeast of Moscow.

Slaman Pak � An Iraqi biological weapons facility.

Smallpox - Smallpox was used as a biological weapon against Native Americans by distribution of infected blankets during the French and Indian War, 1754-67.

State Research Center for Applied Microbiology � A Russian biological research facility, suspected of working on biological weapons, especially bubonic plague.

Tularemia � a bacterial disease common in rodents that is spread by fleas and ticks. It can infect humans, causing fever, enlarged lymph glands, depression and loss of weight. The Russians created Schu-4, a weapons grade strain of tulaermia.

UNIT 731 - A Japanese biological warfare unit during the Second World War that carried out experiments on local Chinese and on allied prisoners of war.

USAMRIID � U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

Variola major � the virus that causes smallpox

Vector � a Russian virology research institute near Novosibirsk in western Siberia. It was dedicated to the creation of virus weapons.

VEE � Venezuelan equine encephalitis, a brain virus that causes headaches and a coma, but is not usually fatal.

Vibrio cholerae � the bacteria that causes cholera.

Virus � an often infectious living creature, the simplest known life-form smaller than a bacteria, consisting of an outer coat and containing a few strands of nucleic acid.

Vozrozhdeniye Island - A prime Soviet germ warfare testing site.

WGE-6 � A NATO term for Working Group of Experts. It includes three groups PG-31, PG-32, PG-33 which specialize in defence against biological weapons. Canada is a member of both PG-32 and PG-33.

WMD - Weapons of mass destruction.

Yersinia pestis � the scientific name for the bacteria that causes bubonic plague, or the Black Death.






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