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A Case History in Cooperative Biological Research: Compendium of Studies and Program Analyses in Kazakhstan | Pub Med Central - Dec. 2019 |

Kazakhstan and the United States have partnered since 2003 to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The US Department of Defense (US DoD) has funded threat reduction programs to eliminate biological weapons, secure material in repositories that could be targeted for theft, and enhance surveillance systems to monitor infectious disease outbreaks that would affect national security.

The cooperative biological research (CBR) program of the US DoD's Biological Threat Reduction Program has provided financing, mentorship, infrastructure, and biologic research support to Kazakhstani scientists and research institutes since 2005. The objective of this paper is to provide a historical perspective for the CBR involvement in Kazakhstan, including project chronology, successes and challenges to allow lessons learned to be applied to future CBR endeavors. A project compendium from open source data and interviews with partner country Kazakhstani participants, project collaborators, and stakeholders was developed utilizing studies from 2004 to the present.

Why The U.S. Is Building A High-Tech Bubonic Plague Lab In Kazakhstan | Popular Science - Aug. 2013 |

by Oui on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 07:01:09 PM EST
Kazakhstan's New National Laboratory is a Regional Resource for a Global Cause | Non-proliferation - May 20, 2020 |

In Kazakhstan, high-risk, naturally occurring diseases include Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (hantaviruses), tickborne encephalitis (TBE), rickettsial diseases, and Q fever. Historically, Kazakhstan monitored these diseases in laboratories of the former Soviet anti-plague system (APS), which fell into severe disrepair after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent lack of funding. As a result, the potential for accidents and mishaps in these labs compounded the risk to surrounding populations.

The central APS laboratory in Kazakhstan, called the Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases (KSCQZD), housed the most dangerous activities to this end. The work it routinely conducted required international biosafety level (BSL)-2 and BSL-3 standards spanning personnel practices, safety equipment, and facility administrative and engineering controls. When the United States engaged with this lab through the CTR program, none of these controls had been in place.

by Oui on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 07:02:00 PM EST
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Use of Chemical, Biological Weapons Unacceptable in Any Context, Delegates Stress, as First Committee Continues General Debate | United Nations - Oct. 7, 2021 |

China's representative, however, pointed out that the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention in 2001 and operates more than 200 biological labs outside its territory. They function in an opaque manner, posing serious risks for the Russian Federation and China, he said.  The United States and its allies also carry out activities in biological labs within their own territories, with the United States providing no information, he added, urging those States to operate in an open manner and to resume negotiations on a verifiable legally binding mechanism.

Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the People's Republic of China and the Russia Federation on Strengthening the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction | MFA - Oct. 8, 2021 |

by Oui on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 07:03:00 PM EST
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Kanatzhan "Kanat" Alibekov [In Langley, Va aka Ken Alibek] and colleagues have sought to develop a product that would protect against an array of deadly viruses and bacteria, rather than just a single organism. In his lab, mice had survived doses of smallpox and anthrax. His "cocktail approach" - mixing more than one drug with other ingredients - was touted at news conferences in 2002 and 2004 by U.S. Representative H. James Saxton (R-N.J.), as "a potential new defense against bioterrorism". This scientific approach is very difficult to assess accurately and has not withstood scientific peer review.

Alibek has used his notoriety to promote "Dr. Ken Alibek's Immune System Support Formula," a dietary supplement sold over the Internet. This concoction of vitamins, minerals, and a proprietary bacterial mix will purportedly "bolster the immune system".

Even very smart scientists sometimes take a detour or a a dead end. (*) Soviet era whistleblower with Pentagon funding build Biosecurity lab in Almaty.

by Oui on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 07:08:48 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 05:09:34 AM EST
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US rejects biological weapons convention protocol | BMJ Medical - June 2, 2001 |

The interagency team reportedly found 38 problems with the protocol, a handful of them serious. It has unanimously concluded that the current version of the protocol would be inefficient in stopping cheating and that not all of its deficiencies could be remedied by the negotiating deadline of November 2001. The 210 page protocol, developed after six years' negotiation, requires signatories to make known their vaccine production facilities, their largest biodefence installations, and facilities that conduct genetic engineering or aerosol studies with germ agents that are likely to be used in weapons. An oversight mechanism for onsite inspections through a new executive council is also part of the protocol.

by Oui on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 07:03:47 PM EST
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