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NPR Examines Issues Surrounding Pox Virus Research

NPR: Did Pox Virus Research Put Potential Profits Ahead of Public Safety?
“In the brave new world of synthetic biology, scientists can now brew up viruses from scratch using the tools of DNA technology. The latest such feat, published last month, involves horsepox, a cousin of the feared virus that causes smallpox in people. Critics charge that making horsepox in the lab has endangered the public by basically revealing the recipe for how any lab could manufacture smallpox to use as a bioweapon. … For more than a decade, policymakers and biologists have been debating how to oversee new advances that might be misused to create germs that could — by accident or on purpose — start a global outbreak…” (Greenfieldboyce, 2/17)