Scientific research related to biological weapons.
"Biological weapons are capable of taking the country past the point of no-recovery," she [Tara O’Toole, a medical doctor and director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies] said. Although the anthrax outbreak was limited and the disease is not contagious, it still overwhelmed laboratories and state and local health departments.
The growing power of biological science has been largely overlooked and little understood by government officials, O’Toole said. Unlike nuclear physics, where it is relatively easy to gauge the intent of research programs, "the only way you can tell the difference between good biology and dark biology is in the application," she said. And by then, it is potentially too late.
Katherine McIntire Peters, "Nation highly exposed to future terrorist attacks, experts warn," Government Executive Magazine, January 22, 2002
One guy that I was talking to was he refers to biological weapons as "product" and he says: "you know, the Russians have developed some wickedly good product at Obalensk (ph). Man, they've got a black death product that you wouldn't believe." He speaks admiringly of the Iraqi product. And this is simply science. It's simply dark biology. It's something that scientists can do and therefore they will do.
Richard Preston, "Politics of Biological War," Talk of the Nation (National Public Radio), November 24, 1997
The phrase dark biology was coined by the science writer and novelist Richard Preston (see the earliest citation, below). If you're interested in dark biology (and feel like scaring yourself silly), you should read one or more volumes of Preston's self-described "trilogy on dark biology": The Hot Zone (1994), The Cobra Event (1997), and The Demon In the Freezer (2002).