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Jun 23, 2014

Re-engineering a Killer Virus

To assess the risk posed by a virus that could acquire all eight of the 1918-like killer influenza genes, researchers at the University of Wisconsin used reverse genetics techniques to generate a virus that differed from the 1918 virus by only 3% of the amino acids that make up the virus proteins. A number of scientists have questioned the sanity of carrying out such an experiment on a microbe with the potential to cause a deadly worldwide pandemic.

Do you think the University of Wisconsin team was irresponsible in reverse engineering an influenza virus?


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Secure Science

Should bans on science education, of the sort imposed on Iranians hoping to study physics and engineering in the United States, encompass other nationals and other fields of study, including biotechnology?