Here's a summing-up from a 2012 long article but worth reading it entirely:
The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama.
Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information.
In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
In 2008, casual DNA-design competitions with small prizes arose.
In 2011, with the launch of GE’s $100 million breast-cancer challenge, the field moved on to serious contests.
By early 2015, as personalized gene therapies for end-stage cancer became medicine’s cutting edge, virus-design Web sites began appearing, where people could upload information about their disease and virologists could post designs for a customized cure.
Diagnostic agents, vaccines, antimicrobials, even designer psychoactive drugs—all appeared on the menu. What people did with these bio-designs was anybody’s guess. No international body had yet been created to watch over them.
According to a 2010 release of secret cables by WikiLeaks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
directed our embassies to surreptitiously collect DNA samples from foreign heads of state and senior United Nations officials.Bill Gates in a recent interview, told a reporter that if he were a kid today, forget about hacking computers: he’d be hacking biology.
An October 2011 report by the WMD Center,said a terrorist-sponsored WMD strike somewhere in the world was probable by the end of 2013
—and that the weapon would most likely be biological.As DNA synthesis technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it will soon become feasible to synthesize nearly any virus whose DNA sequence has been decoded… as well as artificial microbes that do not exist in nature.
Forty nations now host synbio research, China among them. The Beijing Genomics Institute, founded in 1999, is the largest genomic-research organization in the world, sequencing the equivalent of roughly 700,000 human genomes a year. BGI claimed to have more sequencing capacity than all U.S. labs combined.
BGI hires thousands of bright young researchers each year.Some of those jobs will undoubtedly appear in countries not yet on the synbio radar. Iran,
North Korea, and Pakistan will almost certainly be hiring.
The delivery of this sort of biological agent would be very difficult to detect. Viruses are tasteless and odorless and easily aerosolized. They could be hidden in a perfume bottle; a quick dab on the attacker’s wrist in the general proximity of the target is all an assassination attempt would require. If the pathogen were designed to zero in specifically on the president’s DNA, then nobody else would even fall ill. No one would suspect an attack until long after the infection. Several viruses are already known to spark cancers. New ones could eventually be designed to infect the brain with, for instance, synthetic schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or Alzheimer’s.A disease engineered to amplify the production of cortisol and dopamine could induce extreme paranoia, turning, say, a peace-seeking dove into a warmongering hawk. Or a virus that boosts the production of oxytocin, the chemical likely responsible for feelings of trust, could play hell with a leader’s negotiating abilities. Some of these ideas aren’t new. As far back as 1994, the U.S. Air Force’s Wright Laboratory theorized about chemical-based pheromone bombs.In 2008, some 14,000 people were working in U.S. labs with access to seriously pathogenic materials; we don’t know how many tens of thousands more are doing the same overseas. Outside those labs, the tools and techniques of genetic engineering are accessible to many other people.
[link to www.theatlantic.com (secure)
I wonder if this happened to Boris Johnson, Rand Paul & the other high profiles too.