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U.S. lifts research moratorium on enhancing germs’ danger

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  • U.S. lifts research moratorium on enhancing germs’ danger

    The government Tuesday lifted a three-year moratorium on funding for research into ways that certain viruses can be made more virulent and transmissible, announcing a new plan for assessing applications to study these and other dangerous pathogens.
    The new policy for pathogens capable of creating a pandemic will allow researchers who want to study them to apply for funding through the new process outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
    The end of the moratorium applies to research on the SARS, MERS, influenza and other dangerous viruses. The October 2014 pause was put in place after researchers in Wisconsin and the Netherlands sparked a debate by announcing in 2011 that they had made the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus more contagious in ferrets, which are used as a model for how disease might spread among humans. This kind of research is known as “gain of function” because it introduces new abilities into existing germs

    rest of story here :

    I am split on the issue. Not sure if it is very wise without a common science community discussion about what could be done, what shouldn't be done and how are gathered, controled and published (or not) the results
    Giving some hints to cellar terrorists to home made potentialy devastating BW should be very scrutinized
    There were enough recent alerts on this recently

  • #2
    Yeah no. Bad idea from start to finish.


    • #3
      Originally posted by TheKiwi View Post
      Yeah no. Bad idea from start to finish.
      I am little split because we learned a lot on some physiopathological effects through some pumped up pathogens. But i agree with you, the risk may clearly not be worth
      Or you'd have to put all results in a concrete block and drown them in the basement of a yet to be building. Which is not how works science where you have to communicate your results

      That's why there is a big discussion on the issue in the community since that event :
      and it came back on under the spot with this one :

      BTW, except some side results, it can also smells a hidden BW program. The USA is signatory of BW ban but most results of that would have a direct application in the military area and very few in any civilian area
      Call it tin foil hat syndrom but i can't help myself but be a little worried about that decision


      • #4
        This never ends well...............