For the more than a year now, the world's focus has been squarely on the COVID-19 'pandemic'.
With over 100 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than two million dead from the virus, it's hard to imagine how things could get worse.
Despite this, a team of
experts is already preparing for the next global crisis, warning
that some of the possibilities would be more devastating than the
With help from,
industry, and government officials laid out 450 questions regarding
a possible biological crisis.
Despite compiling this list months before COVID-19, lead researcher Dr. Luke Kemp says this list included major concerns revolving around disease threats.
Some of the concerns focused on what role the climate will play on a possible 'pandemic', while others questioned the use of social media to track emerging viruses.
Is a biological threat worse than coronavirus coming?
Some of the 80 concerns look at an even more sinister possibility on the horizon.
As DNA testing becomes a more fashionable tool for both governments and everyday people, researchers warn that threats from "human-engineered agents" pose a huge threat to the entire world.
This study (80 Questions for UK Biological Security) actually originated from an earlier "horizon scan" by Kemp and some of the same researchers which focused on the future of bioengineering.
That report, published in the summer of 2020, ranked the 20 most pressing questions in the field of bio-research.
Study authors also separated the list from the most immediate concerns (likely to occur within five years), to issues five to 10 years away, to those more than a decade from being a reality.
Although some of the topics may be beneficial to mankind, Kemp notes that the list ranges from "promising to the petrifying."
One of the most distressing topics appearing on both lists is the immediate concern of DNA's use in government surveillance.
Also high on the list of future threats is the malicious use of neurochemistry.
The experts argue that advances in neuroscience and bioengineering will not only produce helpful medications, but also weapons.
There will be some positive breakthroughs in the future
While the study (Counterevidence of Crime-reduction Effects from Federal grants of Military Equipment to Local Police) paints a bleak picture of the coming years, researchers believe bioengineering will also produce plenty of positive innovations too...
Among those include new ways of 'fighting' climate change, such as the production of low-carbon plastics, clothes, and construction with renewable microorganisms.
The findings appear in the journal PLOS ONE...