Friday, October 15, 2021

Should Work on the Coronavirus in Wuhan Be Considered ‘Gain-of-Function’ Research?

 There’s no evidence NIH-funded research sparked the pandemic. But the dispute underscores widespread confusion surrounding gain-of-function research, which is now a flashpoint in the broader debate over lab experiments with dangerous viruses. That Paul and Fauci could arrive at such different conclusions about the same work gets to the heart of a thorny problem: When it comes to gain-of-function research, “no one agrees on what it is,” says Nicholas Evans, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, who specializes in biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

1 comment :

  1. The second point of contention is whether the chimeras generated in Wuhan were enhanced in ways that made them more deadly or transmissible than WIV1 itself. WIV1 in its natural, unmodified form already infects human cells in a dish, so replacing its own spikes with those from other coronaviruses adds no gain of function in that respect. Still, some chimeras were more pathogenic in exposed mice than unmodified WIV1, according to experimental summaries obtained and published by The Intercept on September 9, as part of its ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation against the NIH: “Three chimeras produced 10,000 times more virus in the mice’s lung tissue than unmodified WIV1, and one caused the mice to lose significant weight.”

    This is quite a good article. But replacing spikes from one coronavirus to another is not like changing a bicycle wheel. You might be able to change a 26" wheel from another bicycle onto your own. And still ride safely.

    When you do this with viruses, you simply cannot predict the outcome.
    That is highly dangerous biological research - these are Frankenstein viruses.
    Or worse.


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