BUILD A BIO-WEAPON FROM THE SAFETY OF YOUR OWN BEDROOM!? THE TERRIFYING RISE OF DIY KITS WHICH MAY UNLEASH SUPER CHARGED PATHOGENS
Imagine you have a grudge against the world. Imagine you have a pathological desire to get revenge. An agenda to spread mayhem. A burning need to harm.
This is the mindset of Jon Melzack, the antagonist in my new thriller Lie Kill Walk Away.
Melzack is a cult leader, hiding behind a wall of religious rhetoric. But behind the scenes he is working with a lab to create a deadly new bioweapon. A weaponized form of the Ebola virus which can kill in hours. He is the leader of a clandestine terror group.
He wants revenge on the western leaders who have destroyed his life.
And a superweapon may be within his grasp.
During the research for the book I discovered some truly terrifying things.
It is now possible to buy a ‘starter kit’ to mess with the DNA of certain life forms – even if you have no experience and no laboratory of your own.
One example is the CRISP-CAS9 kit which costs about £100. It’s widely available and many medical research organisations are already warning that it is potentially lethal. Google it and you’ll find out more.
You can now play God with the E.Coli bacteria in your own house, giving this potentially dangerous organism the ability to resist antibiotics, or even more dangerous scenarios, which might be completely impossible to predict.
Basically it is a gene-altering kit for a simple bacteria.
It seems harmless perhaps. The new bacteria will just die in the test tube won’t they? Maybe not. The peril is real, as explored in my thriller Lie Kill Walk Away.
The question is: where does this all end? Will it soon be possible to buy a kit to alter the structure of human DNA?
Will commercial organisations begin to market ‘do it yourself bio-terrorism kits’ on the dark net?
This is the brave new world that my two teen heroes Rebecca and Joe are plunged into. Where millions of lives may be at stake from a single vial of a brand new pathogen.
Playing God? Anyone can now do it. We have to wonder where tinkering with genetic information will end.