Your submission is now a Draft.

Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

You have been invited to co-author this question.

When it is ready, the author will submit it for review by Community Moderators. Thanks for helping!


This question now needs to be approved by community moderators.

You have been invited to co-author this question.

It now needs to be approved by community moderators. Thanks for helping!

Synthetic Bio Weapons Infect 100 by 2030

A synthetic biological weapon is a 'living' agent capable of infecting, harming, and/or killing a target host. For the purposes of this question, we focus on human hosts, exclude weapons that consist only of toxins, even if their source is biological: synthetic or otherwise. Nor does it include something like a genetically engineered mosquito carrying natural unmodified malaria. 'Living' means it must either be self-reproducing, like a bacteria or parasite, or like a virus, capable of hijacking a host cell to produce new copies of itself. A synthetic biological agent may be a 'natural' disease causing organism that has at least been genetically engineered (and not merely selectively bred); an entirely new kind of organism, virus, or similar created from scratch; or anything in between those extremes.

If the agent is based on an existing disease causing organism, there must be confirmation that the symptoms of infection by the disease causing agent(s) are confirmed by a credible medical source to be different than those of the original, or alternatively that the infectious 'behavior', or capabilities of the agent are confirmed different than the original. This is to exclude infections that are medically indistuingishable from the natural version, which might make cases too difficult to verify.

The consequences of infection must be undesireable - ie, not something that could concievably be offered as a product for improving the health of a customer, to improve athletic or cognitive abilities, for recreational use, or any other purpose desireable to those infected. It must be confirmed to be at least capable of adversely impacting the victims' physical or mental health, making them smell in a way that attracts trained dogs, causing them to develop an addiction to some brand of fast food, or some other undesireable effect.

Will synthetic biological weapons infect 100 people by 2030?

This question will resolve as Yes if a credible medical source announces at least 100 people are confirmed "infected" by one or more confirmed synthetic "biological weapon"s and that this has occured before 2030. The consequences of infection may or may not be immediately harmful. An agent can even be latent, or cause a delayed onset of disease, as long as the agent is still present and functional 24 hrs after infection (as opposed to being destroyed by the immune system). But if it causes some definite, confirmed harmful effect, and then self-destructs before 24 hrs have passed, that would still count. The infection can result from a terrorist attack, attack on enemy military personnel, an experiment, accident, with the infected persons' consent, or from any other cause.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.