Via The Guardian of Public Health
Analysts hired by the US government developed a mathematical model to help determine whether the risk of accidentally releasing a deadly pathogen outweighs the risk of performing gain-of-function research. The model is patterned after risk assessments for the nuclear and chemical industries.
Manipulating a virus to make it more deadly or transmissible can help scientists to answer important questions about how the microbe evolved or how to kill it. But it is tricky to determine when the risk of accidentally releasing such a pathogen outweighs the benefits of this 'gain-of-function' research.
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