'Weaponizing viruses'? US Air Force places ad for bio samples from Russians
The US Air Force is looking to acquire samples of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and synovial fluid from Russians, according to a government website used to place tenders. The reason behind the order hasn’t been specified.
The Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command has placed a listing on the Federal Business Opportunities website asking for at least 12 RNA samples from Russian people of a European ancestry, as well as 27 samples of synovial fluid.
Suppliers of the samples must meet a number of requirements.
“All Normal Human Fresh Frozen (FF) Synovial Tissue and Normal Human Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) samples must be Russian / Caucasian origin,” reads the contract’s technical specifications. “All FF Synovial tissue and RNA samples must come from normal donors, who have no musculoskeletal injuries. This shall be confirmed by pathology. All FF synovial tissue must have a weight greater than or at a minimum of 0.25 grams.
“All RNA samples must be frozen. Synovial Tissues and RNA samples can be unmatched, meaning from different donors. All Synovial Tissue and RNA samples must be HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis negative.”
In addition, information on donors must be provided with the samples, including their sex, age, ethnicity, smoking history, medical history, height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI). The samples must be delivered to the Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, within 10 days after the contractor receives the money.
All samples must “be collected from Russia and must be Caucasian. The Government will not consider tissue samples from Ukraine,” the contract added.
It was not immediately apparent what the Air Force needed the samples for. One reason could be purely medical research. RNA is found in all living cells and is needed to translate genetic information into proteins.
"The more you know about the genetic diversity of people, the more opportunities you have, in particular, to treat and diagnose diseases,” Professor Konstantin Severinov from Rutgers University told RT.
“All people are different from one another. That is, the genetic background and the reasons why genetic differences are responsible for some other differences between people are still not understood and are the subject of active study."
But Igor Nikulin, a former member of the UN commission on biological weapons, noted that the RNA samples can be used to develop viruses.
“New types of biological weapons are being developed. There’s nothing else that could possibly interest the military department. Most likely, they are weaponized viruses,” Nikulin told RT. “The US is trying to develop various types of biological weapons specifically for specific carriers of this gene pool, and Caucasoids are needed since they constitute the majority of the population of our country.
“This is the same focus group for which they are trying to find the samples. It’s necessary for the viruses to act selectively on one or another ethnic group.”