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Bioviolence: Preventing Biological Terror and Crime.

Bioviolence: Preventing Biological Terror and Crime Barry Kellman

Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). , Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2007

ISBN-10: 0521709695, ISBN-013: 978-0521709699 Pages: 392; Price US $28.99

Even before the anthrax anthrax (ăn`thrăks), acute infectious disease of animals that can be secondarily transmitted to humans. It is caused by a bacterium (Bacillus anthracis  attacks in 2001, public health agencies and partner sectors had begun intensifying efforts to detect and respond to the specter of biologic agents used as instruments of terror. The events in 2001 highlighted the substantial preparedness gaps and needs in multiple dimensions, particularly the requirements for coordinating the work of public health and law enforcement, sectors that operate under different jurisdictional configurations and legal regimes. This book is written by a law professor who begins by positing the thesis that humanity is vulnerable to bioterrorism because current international legal regimes are inadequate to support preventive policies. The author may thus be overly ambitious by attempting to cover this topic on a global scale, rather than through the prism of 1 or a few governance systems.

This book may be particularly helpful to persons who want to learn more about basic concepts regarding the methods of bioterrorism. For example, the second chapter provides an overview and description of biologic agents identified as candidates for use by terrorists, and the third chapter presents a synopsis of historical milestones in the use of bioweapons. The second part of the book offers a conceptual treatment of the author's beliefs about factors accounting for the global failure to effectively confront the threat of biologic agents by multiple actors, and combines this with a focused discussion of 4 categories of measures to reduce bioterrorism. These categories are interdiction INTERDICTION, civil law. A legal restraint upon a person incapable of managing his estate, because of mental incapacity, from signing any deed or doing any act to his own prejudice, without the consent of his curator or interdictor.
 (a practically framed summary), denial of access to methods of bioterrorism, preparedness (i.e., detection and response), and nonproliferation non·pro·lif·er·a·tion  
Of, relating to, or calling for an end to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by additional nations: a nonproliferation treaty.
 regimens. The author concludes with a call for the establishment of "a global governance Global governance refers to political interaction and the creation and empowering of international organizations aimed at solving problems that affect more than one state or region, when there is no democratic power of enforcing compliance.  architecture for preventing bioviolence."

The book's utility for practical applications seems constrained con·strain  
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.

, in part, by a limitation common to single-authored books on topics with myriad and complex technical dimensions. In particular, examining bioterrorism must take into account the convergence of numerous and complex fields, including forensic and laboratory sciences, public health, law enforcement, and behavioral sciences behavioral sciences, those sciences devoted to the study of human and animal behavior.
, to name only a few. In addition, although some chapters provide information helpful for shaping readers' understanding of particular issues, in many instances the text falls short of being practically relevant. For example, within the chapter on public health preparedness, the author devotes only 3 paragraphs to the critically important issue of "law enforcement-public health cooperation," which, since the 2001 anthrax attacks, has been the focus of several major initiatives within the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .

An additional point is that the author appears to be coining a new term, bioviolence ("... the infliction in·flic·tion  
1. The act or process of imposing or meting out something unpleasant.

2. Something, such as punishment, that is inflicted.

Noun 1.
 of harm by the intentional manipulation of living micro-organisms or their natural products for hostile purposes"), for which he also provides a rationale. Yet to be determined is whether this term truly is helpful or possibly confusing because of the already well-established lexicon and conceptions surrounding bioterrorism. On balance, however, this book can be recommended because it helps to address a void in the literature, particularly in relation to concepts of preventing bioterrorism, and because it represents another step toward establishing the multidimensional mul·ti·di·men·sion·al  
Of, relating to, or having several dimensions.

 knowledge base necessary to enhance preparedness.

Address for correspondence: Richard A. Goodman, Public Health Law Program, Office of the Chief of Public Health Practice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. , Mailstop D30, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA; email:

Richard A. Goodman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Author:Goodman, Richard A.
Publication:Emerging Infectious Diseases
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Previous Article:The Microbiology Bench Companion.
Next Article:Encyclopedia of Infectious Diseases: Modern Methodologies.

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