Biological warfare in popular culture

Last updated

Biological warfare (BW) — also known as bacteriological warfare, or germ warfare — has had a presence in popular culture for over 100 years. Public interest in it became intense during the Cold War, especially the 1960s and ‘70s, and continues unabated. This article comprises a list of popular culture works referencing BW or bio-terrorism, but not those pertaining to natural, or unintentional, epidemics.

Biological warfare use of biological toxins or infectious agents with the intent to kill or otherwise neutralize enemies as an act of war

Biological warfare (BW)—also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons are living organisms or replicating entities that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological (insect) warfare is also considered a type of biological weapon. This type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military initialism for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). None of these are considered conventional weapons, which are deployed primarily for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential.

Cold War State of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional wars known as proxy wars.

Contents

Literature

(Chronological, then alphabetical within years)

Jack London American author, journalist, and social activist

John Griffith London was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer in the world of commercial magazine fiction, he was one of the first writers to become a worldwide celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.

<i>South Sea Tales</i> (London collection) book by Jack London

South Sea Tales (1911) is a collection of short stories written by Jack London. Most stories are set in island communities, like those of Hawaii, or are set aboard a ship.

Oceania geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia

Oceania is a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Films

(Chronological, then alphabetical within years)

<i>The Satan Bug</i> 1965 film by John Sturges

The Satan Bug is a 1965 American science fiction suspense film from United Artists, produced and directed by John Sturges, that stars George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis, and Dana Andrews. The screenplay by James Clavell and Edward Anhalt was loosely based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Alistair MacLean under the pseudonym Ian Stuart. The film score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The film featured the first use of a stabilized camera mount on a helicopter invented by Nelson Tyler.

Southern California Place in California, United States

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.

<i>On Her Majestys Secret Service</i> (film) 1969 James Bond film by Peter R. Hunt

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a 1969 British spy film and the sixth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following Sean Connery's decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected an unknown actor and model, George Lazenby, to play the part of James Bond. During the making of the film, Lazenby announced that he would play the role of Bond only once.

Television

(Alphabetical by series)

<i>The 100</i> (TV series) American post-apocalyptic drama television series

The 100 is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series that premiered on March 19, 2014, on The CW. The series, developed by Jason Rothenberg, is loosely based on the novel series of the same name by Kass Morgan.

Between is a Canadian science fiction drama television series which debuted May 21, 2015 on Citytv. Created by Michael McGowan, the series stars Jennette McCurdy as Wiley Day, a pregnant teenage daughter of a minister living in the small town of Pretty Lake, which is coping with a mysterious disease that has killed everybody over age 22.

<i>Foyles War</i> television series

Foyle's War is a British detective drama television series set during the Second World War, created by Midsomer Murders screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after the long-running series Inspector Morse ended in 2000. It began broadcasting on ITV in October 2002. ITV director of programmes Simon Shaps cancelled Foyle's War in 2007, but complaints and public demand prompted Peter Fincham to revive the programme after good ratings for 2008's fifth series. The final episode was broadcast on 18 January 2015, after eight series.

Video games

(Alphabetical by series)

<i>Act of War: Direct Action</i> video game

Act of War: Direct Action is a real-time strategy game developed by Eugen Systems and published by Atari, Inc. The game was released in March 2005 and features a detailed story written by Dale Brown, a retired captain of the US Air Force and a bestselling author. An expansion pack called Act of War: High Treason was released on March 2006 in Europe and Australia. The original game and expansion were later released as Act of War: Gold Edition, on 28 September 2007 in Europe. In September 2015 Eugen Systems released Act of Aggression which is considered a spiritual successor to Act of War.

<i>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare</i> first-person shooter video game

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a first-person shooter video game published by Activision. The eleventh major installment in the Call of Duty series, the game was developed by Sledgehammer Games for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while High Moon Studios developed the versions released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and Raven Software developed the game's multiplayer and the Exo-Zombies mode.

New Baghdad or Baghdad Al-Jidida is one of nine administrative districts in Baghdad, Iraq. This district has nine Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NAC) and a District Advisory Council. It is located east of the city center.

See also

Related Research Articles

Bioterrorism terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents

Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, fungi, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form, in much the same way in biological warfare.

Pandemic global epidemic of infectious disease

A pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. This may include communicable and noncommunicable diseases.

Anthrax infection caused by Bacillus anthracis bacteria

Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection. Symptoms begin between one day and two months after the infection is contracted. The skin form presents with a small blister with surrounding swelling that often turns into a painless ulcer with a black center. The inhalation form presents with fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath. The intestinal form presents with diarrhea which may contain blood, abdominal pains, and nausea and vomiting. The injection form presents with fever and an abscess at the site of drug injection.

Biopreparat was the Soviet Union's major biological warfare agency from the 1970s on. It was a vast, ostensibly civilian, network of secret laboratories, each of which focused on a different deadly bioagent. Its 30,000 employees researched and produced pathogenic weapons for use in a major war.

Biological agent pathogen that can be weaponized

A biological agent—also called bio-agent, biological threat agent, biological warfare agent, biological weapon, or bioweapon—is a bacterium, virus, protozoan, parasite, or fungus that can be used purposefully as a weapon in bioterrorism or biological warfare (BW). In addition to these living and/or replicating pathogens, toxins and biotoxins are also included among the bio-agents. More than 1,200 different kinds of potentially weaponizable bio-agents have been described and studied to date.

Ken Alibek former Soviet physician, microbiologist, and biological warfare expert

Colonel Kanatzhan "Kanat" Alibekov – known as Kenneth "Ken" Alibek since 1992 – is a former Soviet physician, microbiologist, and biological warfare (BW) expert. He rose rapidly in the ranks of the Soviet Army to become the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, where he oversaw a vast program of BW facilities.

<i>The Demon in the Freezer</i> book by Richard Preston

The Demon in the Freezer is a 2002 non-fiction book (ISBN 0345466632) on the biological weapon agents smallpox and anthrax and how the American government develops defensive measures against them. It was written by journalist Richard Preston, also author of the best-selling book The Hot Zone (1994), about outbreaks of Ebola virus in Africa and Reston, Virginia and the U.S. government's response to them.

Vozrozhdeniya Island island

Vozrozhdeniya Island was an island in the Aral Sea. The former island's territory is split between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In 1954, the Soviet Union constructed a biological weapons test site called Aralsk-7 there and on the neighboring Komsomolskiy Island.

United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases U.S Armys main institution and facility for defensive research into countermeasures against biological warfare

The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases is the U.S Army's main institution and facility for defensive research into countermeasures against biological warfare. It is located on Fort Detrick, Maryland and is a subordinate lab of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered on the same installation.

An ethnic bioweapon is a type of theoretical bioweapon that aims to harm only or primarily people of specific ethnicities or genotypes.

The use of biological warfare has been used for many centuries. This entry will go into detail on the United States history and use of biological warfare, and the program that controlled it.

Al Hakum — also spelled Al Hakam — was at one time Iraq's most sophisticated and largest biological weapons (BW) production factory. The facility was part of a large military complex at Jurf Al Sakhar, about 60-70 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, near al-Musayyib. It produced large quantities of botulinum toxin and anthrax from 1989 to 1996. The name derives from the common Arabic name or title Al Hakam, one of the Names of God in the Qur'an.

Erich Traub was a German veterinarian, scientist and virologist who specialized in foot-and-mouth disease, Rinderpest and Newcastle disease. Traub was a member of the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK), a Nazi motorist corps, from 1938 to 1942. He worked directly for Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), as the lab chief of the Nazis' leading bio-weapons facility on Riems Island.

The Soviet Union began a biological weapons program in the 1920s. During World War II, Joseph Stalin was forced to move his biological warfare (BW) operations out of the path of advancing German forces and may have used tularemia against German troops in 1942 near Stalingrad.

Iraqi biological weapons program

Saddam Hussein (1937–2006) initiated an extensive biological weapons (BW) program in Iraq in the early 1980s, in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1972. Details of the BW program—along with a chemical weapons program—surfaced only in the wake of the Gulf War (1990–91) following investigations conducted by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) which had been charged with the post-war disarmament of Saddam's Iraq. By the end of the war, program scientists had investigated the BW potential of five bacterial strains, one fungal strain, five types of virus, and four toxins. Of these, three—anthrax, botulinum and aflatoxin—had proceeded to weaponization for deployment. Because of the UN disarmament program that followed the war, more is known today about the once-secret bioweapons program in Iraq than that of any other nation.

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

The Aral smallpox incident was a July 30, 1971 outbreak of the viral disease which occurred as a result of a field test at a Soviet biological weapons (BW) facility on an island in the Aral Sea. The incident sickened ten people, of whom 3 died, and came to widespread public notice only in 2002.

The United States biological defense program—in recent years also called the National Biodefense Strategy—began as a small defensive effort that paralleled the country's offensive biological weapons development and production program, active between 1943 and 1969. Organizationally, the medical defense research effort was pursued first (1956-1969) by the U.S. Army Medical Unit (USAMU) and later, after the discontinuation of the offensive program, by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Both of these units were located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories were headquartered. The current mission is multi-agency, not exclusively military, and is purely to develop defensive measures against bio-agents, as opposed to the former bio-weapons development program.

Human interactions with microbes

Human interactions with microbes include both practical and symbolic uses of microbes, and negative interactions in the form of human, domestic animal, and crop diseases.

References

  1. Lee, Matthew John (May 22, 2008). The Quick and the Dead. Melrose Books. ISBN   978-1906050788.
  2. Lee, John Matthew (July 28, 2013). The Quick and the Dead. McIatyre, Catherine (Illustrator). (Kindle, Illustrated ed.). Amazon Digital Services, LLC. ASIN   B00E7Q738A.
  3. Lee, John Matthew (February 2014). The Quick and the Dead (EPUB 2/Adobe DRM ed.). Melrose Books.