Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No More Funding for Mutant Virus Development

The Obama administration recently announced that it will no longer fund research that focuses on creating "super-viruses," viruses that are evolved to be more deadly and more dangerous than the natural ones. This has significant implications for researchers in this field because the government is one of the main providers of funding for biomedical research. The government is justifying its action by claiming that developing and researching super viruses poses a threat to society. Opponents of the government's decision claim that researching the ways in which viruses can evolve is crucial in understanding them. Furthermore, inducing the mutations in certain virus before they occur in nature will be important in developing treatments. The government has stopped funding research and has recommended that sponsors, who provide the other sources of research, stop funding as well. It's waiting on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the National Research Council to review the risks and benefits of this type of research to solidify a policy.



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