Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

9.11: Bioterror  

"How many times in the past two months have you hesitated before opening your mail? Before going to the Post Office?..." Read | Discuss

Analysis  12.3.01

Immunizing Modern Polemics: The Politics of Antibodies and the Body Politic
Athena Athanasiou, Brown University
"In the absence of real-time war images 'from the field' (with the exception of a modicum of televised nightscope camera shadows), tropes of bodily defense and deficiency are pervasive 'at home.'" 12.3.01 Read | Discuss
The Anxieties of Biopolitics
Eugene Thacker, Georgia Tech
"If, for a moment, we take the two waves of terrorist "attacks" which have been launched within the U.S. -- the events of September 11th, and the Anthrax-tainted letters sent through the mail -- we are presented with a troubling juxtaposition. As we know, the first wave of attacks (what CNN called "turning airplanes into missiles") resulted in a large-scale tragedy that encompassed thousands of human lives, as well as New York's urban infrastructure, the airline industry, and the nation's economy." 11.15.01 Read | Discuss
Deterrence as Bug Spray: A Review of Lab USA
Eugene Thacker, Georgia Tech
"Paging through the "illuminated documents" of Lab USA, one cannot help but to look at current events in a different, if more sinister, light. Combining the genres of documentary research and the graphic novel/underground comix genre, Lab USA provides us with a hard looks at the genealogy of medical, psychological, and genetic experiment in America." 11.15.01 Read | Discuss
Clippings  12.2.01
Anthrax Inquiry Looks at U.S. Labs
William J. Broad and Judith Miller @ NY Times
"The F.B.I. has expanded its investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks to include the laboratories of the government and its contractors as a possible source of the anthrax itself or the knowledge to make it, scientists and law enforcement officials say." 12.2.01 Read | Discuss
Risky Chickens: Bayer Refuses to Withdraw Animal Antibiotic That Causes Drug Resistance in Humans
Sharon Lerner @ Village Voice
"Because the vast majority of the roughly 30,000 people who took Cipro in the anthrax scare were treating fear rather than exposure, the effectiveness of the bestselling drug was undermined even as its sales were skyrocketing. The more people who don't have bacterial infections take antibiotics, the less effective the drugs are when treating real problems, including TB, pneumonia, and bad colds." 11.28.01 Read | Discuss
The War on Perception: Exploiting U.S. Media and Governance Practices
Dion Dennis @ CTheory
"In a war already punctuated by symbolic and culturally aware gestures, the first five anthrax cases descended into the production facilities of the most ubiquitous national media outlets: American Media, Inc. (twice), NBC, ABC and CBS. The initial attack on the Florida offices of American Media, Inc (AMI) served two purposes. In an immediate and practical sense, the tabloid publishing behemoth has the largest circulation of print media in the U.S. Placing the first spores there guaranteed predictable, enduring, sensationalistic, fear-mongering coverage across the pages of the most popular supermarket rags." 11.27.01 Read | Discuss
Stanford Tests Bioterror Warning System
Carl T. Hall @ SF Gate
"An experimental early warning system for suspicious disease outbreaks is being tested at the Stanford University Medical Center emergency room, part of a nationwide push to brace for potential bioterror attacks. The new surveillance system is built around an Internet connection and special computer terminals at the ER's triage desk. For every incoming patient, nurses transmit key details about symptoms to local health authorities." 11.19.01 Read | Discuss
Should Anthrax Be Considered Worse Than Aids?
Roland Lindner and Claus Tigges @ FAZ.NET
"The pharmaceutical industry is growing more outspoken in its criticism of the U.S. government's coercion of Bayer, maker of the only patented drug approved to treat anthrax. Bayer was forced last week to halve the price of its antibiotic, Ciprobay, in the United States. Health Minister Tommy Thompson had threatened to topple the Ciprobay patent, which runs until 2003, unless Bayer agreed to discount the $1.83 drug to less than $1.00." 10.29.01 Read | Discuss
War on Terror: The Biological Threat
Kenan Malik @ New Statesman
Read | Discuss

Sources  10.28.03
Church of Virus
Smart Mobs