5 months ago by
The important question in this context should be if such applications are desirable and whether it is morally defendable to take part in such research. Refer for example Biological Weapons Convention. To put it clear, any attempt to contribute to the development or applicability (including vaccine development with the aim of protection of own forces) of biological weapons would be a crime against humanity, and that is not just an opinion but a worldwide consensus.
Bioinformatics - like other fields of research - does not exist in a vacuum, instead research is an important part of society. Therefore, there needs to be a broad discussion about research ethics and I think it is time for bioinformatics to come out of its ivory tower. Probably, there are currently few military applications of bioinformatics, and they seem to be mostly defensive in nature, but that does not have to stay like that. Other parts of computer science are effectively already more advanced in this respect. Take the discussion about autonomous weapon systems as an example.
I think that the original post is in fact controversial and one could argue for closing but I was hoping for some more critical remarks.