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Advancement in Science and Technology Research is a peer-reviewed open access journal published quarterly Essay

Advancement in Science and Technology Research aims at providing a platform for researchers, engineers, scientists, and educators to publish their original research results, to exchange new ideas, to disseminate information in innovative designs, engineering experiences and technological skills. It is also the Journal’s objective to promote engineering and technology education. The papers for publication in Advancement in Science and Technology Research are selected through rigorous peer reviews to ensure originality, timeliness, relevance, and readability.

Advances in Science and Technology is a irregular series presenting the Proceedings of CIMTEC, International Cermics Congress and Forum on New Materials. The series is published on behalf of TECHNA GROUP, Faenza, Italy.

With the second review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) approaching in April, a raft of studies have appeared making clear that fundamental changes in science and technology are affecting the implementation of the treaty and that it must be adapted to take account of them.[1]

The most significant development is the revolution in the life sciences and related technologies, including a growing overlap between chemistry and biology. There is a vastly increased understanding of the functioning of biological systems as a result of the mapping of the human and other genomes as well as of advances in structural biology and the study of proteins (proteomics). Information technology and engineering principles are increasingly integrated into biology. The intersection between chemistry and biology has further expanded thanks in part to the automation of synthesis and screening of chemical compounds enabling laboratories to assess vast numbers of new chemical structures and a much-enhanced understanding of how certain “chemicals of biological origin” act. Technological advances supplement these trends, for example, providing for more efficient means of delivering biologically active chemicals to target populations or targeting
organs and receptors within an organism.

These developments are expected to bring many benefits, including new medical treatments and methods of pest control. At the same time, the capacity to discover or design new chemical structures that may have utility as chemical warfare agents has also increased significantly. Novel agents can be created far more quickly than ever before. In addition, advances in manufacturing technology have shortened other time requirements, enabling shortcuts in the progression from research and development to full-scale manufacturing. Changes in the chemical industry have dispersed technology and facilities, complicating verification and traditional nonproliferation strategies.

As a result, the time and effort needed to field a new chemical weapon has shrunk, particularly in the early stages, while the capability to detect such actions has not grown significantly. These trends and a recently increased interest in the use of incapacitants for law enforcement purposes raise at least the threat that states could skirt or quickly break out of the CWC prohibitions on developing and acquiring chemical weapons. It has also enlarged the overlap between the two otherwise quite separate treaties governing chemical and biological weapons, the CWC and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). States-parties need to adapt the implementation of the CWC to account for these changes or risk diminishing confidence in its effectiveness and endangering its viability.

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