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WikiLeaks: tension in the Middle East and Asia has ‘direct potential’ to lead to nuclear war

February 3, 2011 1 comment

Tension in the Middle East and Asia has given rise to an escalating atomic arms and missiles race which has “the direct potential to lead to nuclear war,” leaked diplomatic documents disclose.

By Heidi BlakeRogue states are also increasing their efforts to secure chemical and biological weapons, and the means to deploy them, leaving billions in the world’s most densely populated area at risk of a devastating strike, the documents show.

States such as North Korea, Syria and Iran are developing long-range missiles capable of hitting targets outside the region, records of top-level security briefings obtained by WikiLeaks show.

Long-running hostilities between India and Pakistan – which both have nuclear weapons capabilities – are at the root of fears of a nuclear conflict in the region. A classified Pentagon study estimated in 2002 that a nuclear war between the two countries could result in 12 million deaths.

Secret records of a US security briefing at an international non-proliferation summit in 2008 stated that “a nuclear and missile arms race [in South Asia] has the Read more…

Mutant mosquitoes: Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species

January 27, 2011 Comments off

Malaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue fever.

The field test is meant to pave the way for the official use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with females and produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population.

Only female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread dengue fever, which killed 134 people in Malaysia last year.

Malaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue feverMalaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes into a forest in a bid to curb rates of dengue fever 

However, the plan has sparked criticism by some Malaysian environmentalists, who fear it might have unforeseen consequences, such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes.

Critics also say such plans could leave a vacuum in the ecosystem that is then filled by another insect species, potentially introducing new diseases.

A similar trial in the Cayman Islands last year – the first time genetically modified mosquitoes Read more…