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FTR #56 Still More Fun With Science

Lis­ten now: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

Native Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tions have fre­quent­ly been used as test sub­jects for med­ical exper­i­ments. This broad­cast focus­es on the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Native Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tions in New Mex­i­co and Alas­ka may have been uti­lized as human guinea pigs in the test­ing of bio­log­i­cal war­fare agents. The pro­gram dis­cuss­es back­ground infor­ma­tion about mil­i­tary research into the rodent-borne han­ta virus as a pos­si­ble bio­log­i­cal war­fare agent. The broad­cast also ana­lyzes the prob­a­bil­i­ty that AIDS stems from the mar­riage of bio­log­i­cal war­fare and genet­ic engi­neer­ing. The pro­gram dis­cuss­es the han­ta out­break among the Nava­ho in 1993 and AIDS out­breaks among the Native Amer­i­cans of the Kenai penin­su­la in Alas­ka in the ear­ly 1980s. Some observers have sug­gest­ed that the New Mex­i­co out­break may have result­ed from test­ing or acci­den­tal spread­ing of bio­log­i­cal war­fare con­t­a­m­i­nants from near­by Fort Wingate. In addi­tion, the Alas­ka out­break may very well have orig­i­nat­ed with the admin­is­tra­tion of the same exper­i­men­tal hepati­tis B vac­cine that appears to have been the vehi­cle for infec­tion of oth­er pop­u­la­tion groups with AIDS.