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Federal Ban Lifted on Lethal Virus Research

Federal Ban Lifted on Lethal Virus Research
(Copyright DPC)

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:58 PM

Federal officials on Tuesday reportedly lifted a ban imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal, in an effort to devise more effective vaccines and other protections.

Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said such research may now continue, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks, The New York Times reports.

Some scientists support such studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine.

But critics argue that such research risks creating a dangerous germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.

In 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic, said Collins.

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U.S. officials have lifted a ban on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal, in an effort to devise more effective vaccines and other protections.
lethal, virus, research, ban
168
2017-58-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:58 PM
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