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U.S. lifts funding ban on studies that enhance dangerous germs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The U.S. government on Tuesday lifted a 2014 temporary ban on funding research involving the flu and other pathogens in which scientists deliberately make them more transmissible or more deadly. The ban covered federal funding for any new so-called "gain-of-function" experiments that enhance pathogens such as Avian influenza, SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS viruses. The concern with "gain-of-function" research is that while the work may produce useful insights about how a pathogen might naturally evolve and become more deadly, laboratory-enhanced pathogens could be used for biowarfare or bioterrorism if they fell into the wrong hands. read more
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