An Engineered Doomsday – NYTimes.com

An Engineered Doomsday – NYTimes.com.

Editorial

An Engineered Doomsday

Scientists have long worried that an influenza virus that has ravaged poultry and wild birds in Asia might evolve to pose a threat to humans. Now scientists financed by the National Institutes of Health have shown in a laboratory how that could happen. In the process they created a virus that could kill tens or hundreds of millions of people if it escaped confinement or was stolen by terrorists.

We nearly always champion unfettered scientific research and open publication of the results. In this case it looks like the research should never have been undertaken because the potential harm is so catastrophic and the potential benefits from studying the virus so speculative.

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Read the full article here: The New York Times

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