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Two of the microbiology students Carina Nieuwenweg, Martijn van Galen and Angelina Horsting who invented the device

Two of the microbiology students Carina Nieuwenweg, Martijn Van Galen and Angelina Horsting who invented the device

Adapting a mosquito genetically so that it spread a disease that can not be cured is one of the many horror scenarios of future Biological warfare. And precisely against this kind of elusive enemies, a detection device has now been developed.

Microbiology students Carina Nieuwenweg, Martijn van Galen and Angelina Horsting are proud to come out with such a device. With their CRISPR CLEAR device developed in Wageningen, they won a cash prize of 27,000 euros. 

They put that money into further research to improve the device. The CRISPR CLEAR is a sensor that can detect genetically engineered biological weapons. It still does not exist anywhere in the world. But it is by no means an unnecessary luxury.

The CRISPR CLEAR device is used against the Crisper-cas technique. This CRISPR-cas technique makes it much easier nowadays to genetically manipulate. 

By removing certain genes there is again, for example, the cancer control book. But the method can also be used to make harmful changes to the genetic material.

An ultimate biological weapon

Because with the CRISPR-cas method with the DNA is much easier and cheaper, making an ultimate biological weapon also comes to a step closer. A good example of this is the fight against malaria. 

Malaria mosquitoes can be made resistant to malaria and can also be genetically modified so that almost all offspring are resistant as well. But the other way around, the Dutch mosquito can also be adjusted in such a way that it is extremely suitable for the malaria parasite.

Of course, this applies not only to malaria but also to diseases such as Lyme, Zika virus, dengue fever and yellow fever.

How does it work?

CRISPR-cas is literally the immune system of a bacterium. Like humans, bacteria also suffer from viruses. If a virus enters the cell of a bacterium, the CRISPR system responds, searches the DNA of the virus very quickly and cuts the virus. 

Ten years ago this system was discovered and it also appeared to work in cells of plants, animals, and people.

The big advantage of the CRISPR system is that it knows the way on the DNA much better. With this new technique, it becomes possible to very specific, in the right place, to build a new piece of DNA or to remove a faulty piece of DNA.

Biological weapons of unprecedented destructive nature

Internationally, concerns about the negative possibilities of the CRISPR-cas method are increasing rapidly. In July last year, John Sotos of Intel Health & Life Sciences warned that the CRISPR method offers "unprecedented opportunities for making biological weapons of an unprecedented destructive nature."

A year earlier, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates also made himself heard with a warning about the negative possibilities of CRISPR-cas.

From chemical gas in Syria to a Dutch detection system

There is another technique that makes the CRISPR-cas method dangerous. This technique is called a 'Gene drive'. As a result, for example, a mosquito population can change DNA within one generation.

 Normally this would take much longer. The changes are now much faster due to this "turbo-drive". This is extremely useful in the fight against malaria, but if you want to make a weapon out of the mosquito: life-threatening.

The students came up with the idea for a sensor device with which genetically manipulated biological weapons can be detected by the chemical gas attacks in Syria. 

Similar methods of measurement already exist for chemical weapons. But not for biological weapons. Let alone genetically engineered biological weapons.

A handy military weapon

They decided to build a sensor that can detect a bioweapon made with CRISPR-cas. It is a black box with two tubes inside which DNA of a suspected organism can be put into. 

Then the tubes are heated to 65 degrees and there is a chemical reaction. If the tube turns yellow, then there is an organism that has been manipulated with the CRISPR-cas method.

Martijn van Galen: " A detection system that directly tells whether a mutation has been introduced into the DNA of an organism can be very useful in the event of war. This way you could quickly and on-site determine whether a mosquito contains diseases." 

Changing genes is a useful military weapon. With other biological and chemical weapons, there was always the risk that you were hit yourself. If the wind is wrong, you already have a problem. 

With the new CRISPR-cas method, this risk is much smaller. The bioweapon can now be constructed in such a way that the weapon is only deadly for people with a specific genetic characteristic.

'Doctor Death': the lugubrious practices of Wouter Basson 

The development of biological weapons that only attack a certain group of people is not new. The South African Wouter Basson, nicknamed 'Doctor Death', was head of the 7th Medical Division of the South African army. He was the leader of 'project Coast' from 1981 to 1993.

This department, which was involved in the development and production of chemical and biological weapons, developed T-shirts with poison. This poison eventually caused fatal heart defects. 

His department also commissioned a pill with a substance in it that would make black women infertile. Had Basson at that time had access to the CRISPR-cas method, this would have made his job a lot easier, to say the least.

Unrest about the spread is great

Because the genetic changes can go through a population very quickly, anxiety about the unintended spread is high. Because how the operation of a genetically engineered mosquito or mouse unpacks is unknown. There is plenty of piecing with the CRISPR method and in the past, this did not always happen behind closed doors.

For example, fruit fly geneticist Ethan Bier in 2015 all made yellow fruit flies with a gene drive. He did this in an ordinary laboratory without extra security. If a fly or an egg had escaped from the lab, it would have been possible that the majority of all fruit flies would now have been yellow.

CRISPR-Cas on the kitchen table

Another concern about the gene-changing CRISPR-cas method is the accessibility of the technique. For the creation of biological weapons, a serious laboratory was previously required. With CRISPR-cas you can work in a barn or garage.  

An American entrepreneur now sells the 'do-it-yourself CRISPR-cas box' for $ 159. This allows the consumer himself to craft with the DNA of various, according to the manufacturer, non-hazardous bacteria and yeast to make, for example, luminous beer. 

Recently, this do-it-yourself kit was discredited because in addition to innocent bacteria there were also a number of malignant organisms in it.

The invention of the three students has aroused the interest of the Ministry of Defense. Other students are already working on the refinement of the method so that the device will eventually be usable in the field.

Original article published in Dutch by 1V ENN Vandaag


The writers of this wish to congratulate Carina Nieuwenweg, Martijn van Galen and Angelina Horsting for inventing such a great device.

You have shown concern about how clandestinely some governments use bio-weapons on other races with impunity.

We are fighting against the usage of Aids and Ebola bio-weapons by the American government in Africa. 

These medical genocide crimes haven't been mentioned by the US government, yet they are making noise on global climate as if they care about our environment and mankind.

Thus; coming out with such a special device is an initial warning to the US government something can be universal to detect the bio-weapon crimes they commit clandestinely.

We are confident of what we write about and therefore, we say it with force without censor. The US government is a cold-blooded killer we, therefore, have no respect for any of them including Obama. As for African leaders, their days are numbered.

The heading of the article: "Studenten maken dé sensor die ons tegen nieuw biologisch wapen beschermt," indicates that the students invented the device to protect the Dutch people.

However, we wish this could be universal in the future, to protect the poor and vulnerable people, especially from Third World Countries that are often preyed upon for testing bio-weapons.

This post first appeared on SECRETS OF AIDS AND EBOLA, please read the originial post: here

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