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Biotech Medicine Science

Threatened Pandemics and Laboratory Escapes: Self-fulfilling Prophecies 94

Posted by timothy
from the here-sniff-this-tube dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Martin Furmanski, a medical doctor and medical historian, writes of the laboratory escapes of high-consequence pathogens that have occurred in recent decades (including several instances of smallpox!). The article explores 'gain of function" experiments-- experiments in which researchers manipulate dangerous pathogens to increase communicability among humans, and whether the benefit we see from those experiments outweighs the incredible risk. 'Many other laboratory escapes of high-consequence pathogens have occurred, resulting in transmission beyond laboratory personnel. Ironically, these laboratories were working with pathogens to prevent the very outbreaks they ultimately caused. For that reason, the tragic consequences have been called "self-fulfilling prophecies.''"
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Threatened Pandemics and Laboratory Escapes: Self-fulfilling Prophecies

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  • Re:Better Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neilo_1701D (2765337) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:44AM (#46631389)

    As a counterpoint to this argument, consider the X-Planes of the 50's and 60's; these were all done precisely that way: by attracting the best and brightest to remote locations, cut off from population centers and given a remit to do the best they could. Think the Bell-X1, for example, or Lookheed's A-12 (which became the SR-71).

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