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Posted: 10/27/2013 2:33:03 PM EST
Creating viruses from DNA building blocks and computer code and then giving them "Gain of Function" virulence factors.... some day something is going to break containment and kill us all. It's only a matter of time. We've advanced too far in biotechnology for our own good.

Venter and his team figured out how to make an artificial bacterial cell, inserted their man-made DNA genome inside, and watched as the organic life form they had synthesized moved, ate, breathed, and replicated itself.... [snip]

When Venter’s team first created the phi X174 viral genome, Venter commissioned a large analysis of the implications of synthetic genomics for national security and public health. The resulting report
warned that two issues were impeding appropriate governance of the new science. The first problem was that work on synthetic biology, or synbio, had become so cheap and easy that its practitioners were no longer classically trained biologists. This meant that there were no shared assumptions regarding the new field’s ethics, professional standards, or safety. The second problem was that existing standards, in some cases regulated by government agencies in the United States and other developed countries, were a generation old, therefore outdated, and also largely unknown to many younger practitioners.

Venter’s team predicted that as the cost of synthetic biology continued to drop, interest in the field would increase, and the ethical and practical concerns it raised would come increasingly to the fore. They were even more prescient than they guessed. Combined with breakthroughs in another area of biology, “gain-of-function” (GOF) research, the synthetic genomics field has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. As the scientific community has started debating “human-directed evolution” and the merits of experiments that give relatively benign germs dangerous capacities for disease, the global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve, mired in antiquated notions about what threats are important and how best to counter them.
View Quote


Full article at link: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:35:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By MK262:
Creating viruses from DNA building blocks and computer code and then giving them "Gain of Function" virulence factors.... some day something is going to break containment and kill us all. It's only a matter of time. We've advanced too far in biotechnology for our own good.

Venter and his team figured out how to make an artificial bacterial cell, inserted their man-made DNA genome inside, and watched as the organic life form they had synthesized moved, ate, breathed, and replicated itself.... [snip]

When Venter’s team first created the phi X174 viral genome, Venter commissioned a large analysis of the implications of synthetic genomics for national security and public health. The resulting report
warned that two issues were impeding appropriate governance of the new science. The first problem was that work on synthetic biology, or synbio, had become so cheap and easy that its practitioners were no longer classically trained biologists. This meant that there were no shared assumptions regarding the new field’s ethics, professional standards, or safety. The second problem was that existing standards, in some cases regulated by government agencies in the United States and other developed countries, were a generation old, therefore outdated, and also largely unknown to many younger practitioners.

Venter’s team predicted that as the cost of synthetic biology continued to drop, interest in the field would increase, and the ethical and practical concerns it raised would come increasingly to the fore. They were even more prescient than they guessed. Combined with breakthroughs in another area of biology, “gain-of-function” (GOF) research, the synthetic genomics field has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. As the scientific community has started debating “human-directed evolution” and the merits of experiments that give relatively benign germs dangerous capacities for disease, the global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve, mired in antiquated notions about what threats are important and how best to counter them.
View Quote


Full article at link: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world
View Quote


stopped reading there, off to load pmags
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:37:21 PM EST
AnalFistageddon?
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:37:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 2:39:40 PM EST by Spiffster]
Why the future doesn't need us

Long, but worthwhile old article by Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems fame
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:38:05 PM EST
There are certain skill-sets, that once acquired, render an individual too dangerous to enjoy the usual life,liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:38:06 PM EST
I think stuff that gets inside of you and kills you scares me way more than any monster could. You can shoot a monster in and around its face.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:38:20 PM EST
DAY 1
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:39:28 PM EST
OH snap!
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:39:36 PM EST
I disagree.

I find it amusing how much Unix is still used behind the scenes, and asked an IT guy once when he thought the last Unix command would be typed in.

His answer was "5 seconds before the end of humanity, and it will probably have something to do with it..."
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:39:38 PM EST
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:40:09 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:40:19 PM EST
I, for one, welcome our new manufactured viral-bacterial overlords.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:40:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 2:40:44 PM EST by MurdocUSA]
Am I the only one who thinks mankind will continue basically indefinitely? People are so frightened of advancement, I don't get it.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:40:28 PM EST
Either this or the astroid in 2032.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:42:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 2:42:46 PM EST by MK262]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sixnine:
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
View Quote


I'm sure a rogue state such as North Korea would put safety concerns at the top of its agenda in developing biological weapons.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:42:13 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sixnine:
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
View Quote



Really?

Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:42:43 PM EST
Bah, a dozen years ago and Australian Mousepox...

Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:44:00 PM EST
Maybe someone will engineer a virus that doesn't HARM anybody but targets the libtard gene and destroys it and replaces it with a gene
for rational thought and a hard work ethic. End the scourge of liberalism FOREVER.

"The plague came...and now we're all right wingers. All is finally right with the world.|
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:44:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Fullpower:
There are certain skill-sets, that once acquired, render an individual too dangerous to enjoy the usual life,liberty and pursuit of happiness.
View Quote

Agreed.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:44:57 PM EST
I wonder, if we ever discover alien life, if maybe it'll be in the form of some critter that the previous alien species developed and it ate them all.

that'd be crazy.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:46:11 PM EST
Good. Kill 'em all.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:48:01 PM EST
I'm ready to end it.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:49:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MK262:


I'm sure a rogue state such as North Korea would put safety concerns at the top of its agenda in developing biological weapons.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MK262:
Originally Posted By sixnine:
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I'm sure a rogue state such as North Korea would put safety concerns at the top of its agenda in developing biological weapons.


Knowing that, don't we have an obligation to go down those paths ourselves if for no reason other than to learn how to identify the threat, and neutralize it?
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:49:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 2:50:23 PM EST by dogsplat]
Bah.

A strange quark will get out and unravel us all first.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:50:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RabidMonkeyPox:
AnalFistageddon?
View Quote
all fun and games until some virus has you bent over a park bench,then pow right in the shitter
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:51:13 PM EST
I doubt it look up the delta 32 gene it gave immunity to the plague. It might kill a lot of us but some would survive.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:54:02 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MotorMouth:


Knowing that, don't we have an obligation to go down those paths ourselves if for no reason other than to learn how to identify the threat, and neutralize it?
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Originally Posted By MotorMouth:
Originally Posted By MK262:
Originally Posted By sixnine:
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I'm sure a rogue state such as North Korea would put safety concerns at the top of its agenda in developing biological weapons.


Knowing that, don't we have an obligation to go down those paths ourselves if for no reason other than to learn how to identify the threat, and neutralize it?


By all means, engage in all the bio defense research you can that is both practical and ethical; but, don't assume for a minute we'll be better protected as a result of those efforts. We can do all the research in the world and still all be incredibly vulnerable to the type of bioweapons that can be created today.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:54:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SouthEndXGF:
I wonder, if we ever discover alien life, if maybe it'll be in the form of some critter that the previous alien species developed and it ate them all.

that'd be crazy.
View Quote


Shoggoths FTW!
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 2:56:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:00:04 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By markmars:
I doubt it look up the delta 32 gene it gave immunity to the plague. It might kill a lot of us but some would survive.
View Quote


Trust me, the things they are capable of making today, could wipe out all of humanity.

Think of an airborne bacteria with a engineered protein coat resistant to all known antibiotics, with the virulence to kill everyone it infected. It can be done. And it worries the hell out of me that someone is crazy enough to make it. Or even more likely, they make it on accident when trying to make something a lot more mild.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:00:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 3:02:29 PM EST by makintrax73]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sixnine:
There is no purpose to create something that has the potential to destroy the human race by just getting out of the lab. They have to know that there would be no way to control it if it ever got loose.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
View Quote


I've heard genetic engineers state that within a few decades the technology will be so common that it

would be possible for companies to sell genetic engineering kits the way companies used to sell

chemistry sets. Take a pissed off Aurora CO shooter and give him some biology knowledge

and a genetic engineering kit in his mom's basement and then see about "purpose."
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:02:11 PM EST
Can't say I'm surprised.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:04:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By makintrax73:

I've heard genetic engineers state that within a few decades the technology will be so common that it

would be possible for companies to sell genetic engineering kits the way companies used to sell

chemistry sets. Take a pissed off Aurora CO shooter and give him some biology knowledge

and a genetic engineering kit in his mom's basement and then see about "purpose."
View Quote



No.

Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:06:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 3:08:27 PM EST by MK262]
The genetic material for creating a super bacteria already exists. Just stop by your local hospital in India, take it back to your lab, add in a couple of genes to make it airborne and more deadly, and voila.

Over 50 percent of bacterial infections in Indian hospitals are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and surveys show that many widespread bacterial pathogens in India are also resistant to powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics.

In 2010, a team of South Asian and British scientists analyzed bacterial infections in a hospital around New Delhi, and found that 24 percent could also resist hospitals' last-resort intravenous antibiotics, called "carbapenems," and 13 percent were endowed with a super-resistant gene, dubbed "New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1," or NDM-1, which confers resistance to carbapenems along with at least 14 other antibiotics.

"Everybody is hell scared," says medical microbiologist Chand Wattal, of Sir Ganga Ram hospital in New Delhi.

Since then, NDM-1 bacteria have been found in drinking water supplies and in puddles around New Delhi, and in patients in over 35 countries, says University of Cardiff microbiologist Tim Walsh. Many of these patients are "medical tourists" who have traveled from Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas to India or Pakistan for inexpensive medical care.

There are few new drugs in development to treat the microbes that NDM-1 plagues. In Western hospitals, "gram-positive" bacteria, which are structurally vulnerable to antibiotics and disinfectants, tend to dominate. In hospitals in India and other tropical countries "gram-negative" bacteria, which are encased in tough outer membranes that can repel antibiotics and antiseptics, are more common. With most drug industry research and development focused on Western markets, "places like India will just have to wait for new drugs for gram-negatives" while the death toll from untreatable infections inevitably rises, says Public Health Foundation of India's Ramanan Laxminarayan, .
View Quote


http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/the-super-resistant-bacteria-that-has-india-hell-scared/251731/
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:08:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ED_P:
I disagree.

I find it amusing how much Unix is still used behind the scenes, and asked an IT guy once when he thought the last Unix command would be typed in.

His answer was "5 seconds before the end of humanity, and it will probably have something to do with it..."
View Quote


Funny...I had a similar conversation recently.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:13:26 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SouthEndXGF:
I wonder, if we ever discover alien life, if maybe it'll be in the form of some critter that the previous alien species developed and it ate them all.

that'd be crazy.
View Quote

You mean the Flood?



Off to go get my mjilnor armor.....
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:16:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By iwouldntknow:

You mean the Flood?



Off to go get my mjilnor armor.....
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Originally Posted By iwouldntknow:
Originally Posted By SouthEndXGF:
I wonder, if we ever discover alien life, if maybe it'll be in the form of some critter that the previous alien species developed and it ate them all.

that'd be crazy.

You mean the Flood?



Off to go get my mjilnor armor.....


yes, just like the flood.

i'll grab my DMR and we'll go!
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:19:38 PM EST

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:20:48 PM EST
Hey, we found the God particle.What the fuck did ya think was gonna happen? All Prometheus up in here.....
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:22:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NC_Preacher:
http://i.imgur.com/bTCLs5M.gif
View Quote

This
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:23:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MurdocUSA:
Am I the only one who thinks mankind will continue basically indefinitely? People are so frightened of advancement, I don't get it.
View Quote


Absolutely. Humans are the most adaptable animal on the planet. There are things that could wipe us out, but they'd likely wipe out all other life as well.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:23:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 3:25:39 PM EST by MK262]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By C-4:

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By C-4:

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.


I'm sure they could up that 59% number if they really wanted to.

Dual-use concerns in biology have gained widespread publicity in the last couple of years thanks to GOF research, which attempts to start combating potential horrors by first creating them artificially in the lab. On September 12, 2011, Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center, in Rotterdam, took the stage at a meeting in Malta of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza. He announced that he had found a way to turn H5N1, a virus that almost exclusively infected birds, into a possible human-to-human flu. At that time, only 565 people were known to have contracted H5N1 flu, presumably from contact with birds, of which 331, or 59 percent, had died. The 1918 influenza pandemic had a lethality rate of only 2.5 percent yet led to more than 50 million deaths, so H5N1 seemed potentially catastrophic. Its saving grace was that it had not yet evolved into a strain that could readily spread directly from one human to another. Fouchier told the scientists in Malta that his Dutch group, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, had “mutated the hell out of H5N1,” turning the bird flu into something that could infect ferrets (laboratory stand-ins for human beings). And then, Fouchier continued, he had done “something really, really stupid,” swabbing the noses of the infected ferrets and using the gathered viruses to infect another round of animals, repeating the process until he had a form of H5N1 that could spread through the air from one mammal to another.

“This is a very dangerous virus,” Fouchier told Scientific American. Then he asked, rhetorically, “Should these experiments be done?” His answer was yes, because the experiments might help identify the most dangerous strains of flu in nature, create targets for vaccine development, and alert the world to the possibility that H5N1 could become airborne. Shortly after Fouchier’s bombshell announcement, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a University of Wisconsin virologist, who also received funding from the National Institutes of Health, revealed that he had performed similar experiments, also producing forms of the bird flu H5N1 that could spread through the air between ferrets. Kawaoka had taken the precaution of altering his experimental H5N1 strain to make it less dangerous to human beings, and both researchers executed their experiments in very high-security facilities, designated Biosafety Level (BSL) 3+, just below the top of the scale.


http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:25:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:28:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MK262:
The genetic material for creating a super bacteria already exists. Just stop by your local hospital in India, take it back to your lab, add in a couple of genes to make it airborne and more deadly, and voila.



http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/the-super-resistant-bacteria-that-has-india-hell-scared/251731/
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MK262:
The genetic material for creating a super bacteria already exists. Just stop by your local hospital in India, take it back to your lab, add in a couple of genes to make it airborne and more deadly, and voila.

Over 50 percent of bacterial infections in Indian hospitals are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and surveys show that many widespread bacterial pathogens in India are also resistant to powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics.

In 2010, a team of South Asian and British scientists analyzed bacterial infections in a hospital around New Delhi, and found that 24 percent could also resist hospitals' last-resort intravenous antibiotics, called "carbapenems," and 13 percent were endowed with a super-resistant gene, dubbed "New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1," or NDM-1, which confers resistance to carbapenems along with at least 14 other antibiotics.

"Everybody is hell scared," says medical microbiologist Chand Wattal, of Sir Ganga Ram hospital in New Delhi.

Since then, NDM-1 bacteria have been found in drinking water supplies and in puddles around New Delhi, and in patients in over 35 countries, says University of Cardiff microbiologist Tim Walsh. Many of these patients are "medical tourists" who have traveled from Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas to India or Pakistan for inexpensive medical care.

There are few new drugs in development to treat the microbes that NDM-1 plagues. In Western hospitals, "gram-positive" bacteria, which are structurally vulnerable to antibiotics and disinfectants, tend to dominate. In hospitals in India and other tropical countries "gram-negative" bacteria, which are encased in tough outer membranes that can repel antibiotics and antiseptics, are more common. With most drug industry research and development focused on Western markets, "places like India will just have to wait for new drugs for gram-negatives" while the death toll from untreatable infections inevitably rises, says Public Health Foundation of India's Ramanan Laxminarayan, .


http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/the-super-resistant-bacteria-that-has-india-hell-scared/251731/



I read that in the accent of the guy working down the road at the 7-11.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:30:52 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By C-4:

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.
View Quote
If we were talking viral species entirely made from existing RNA, you might be right. But synthetic RNA makes it possible.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:32:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bcsoeod:


stopped reading there, off to load pmags
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Originally Posted By bcsoeod:
Originally Posted By MK262:
Creating viruses from DNA building blocks and computer code and then giving them "Gain of Function" virulence factors.... some day something is going to break containment and kill us all. It's only a matter of time. We've advanced too far in biotechnology for our own good.

Venter and his team figured out how to make an artificial bacterial cell, inserted their man-made DNA genome inside, and watched as the organic life form they had synthesized moved, ate, breathed, and replicated itself.... [snip]

When Venter’s team first created the phi X174 viral genome, Venter commissioned a large analysis of the implications of synthetic genomics for national security and public health. The resulting report
warned that two issues were impeding appropriate governance of the new science. The first problem was that work on synthetic biology, or synbio, had become so cheap and easy that its practitioners were no longer classically trained biologists. This meant that there were no shared assumptions regarding the new field’s ethics, professional standards, or safety. The second problem was that existing standards, in some cases regulated by government agencies in the United States and other developed countries, were a generation old, therefore outdated, and also largely unknown to many younger practitioners.

Venter’s team predicted that as the cost of synthetic biology continued to drop, interest in the field would increase, and the ethical and practical concerns it raised would come increasingly to the fore. They were even more prescient than they guessed. Combined with breakthroughs in another area of biology, “gain-of-function” (GOF) research, the synthetic genomics field has spawned a dizzying array of new possibilities, challenges, and national security threats. As the scientific community has started debating “human-directed evolution” and the merits of experiments that give relatively benign germs dangerous capacities for disease, the global bioterrorism and biosecurity establishment remains well behind the curve, mired in antiquated notions about what threats are important and how best to counter them.


Full article at link: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world


stopped reading there, off to load pmags


What round for synthetic virus? 100kGy of Gamma ray?
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:33:47 PM EST
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Originally Posted By red_on_black:


No.

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Originally Posted By red_on_black:


No.





Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer. New lineages will proliferate to replace those that monoculture farming and deforestation have destroyed. Designing genomes will be a personal thing, a new art form as creative as painting or sculpture.


This was a quote by Freeman Dyson, a theoretical physicist rather than a genetic engineer. Sorry about the mistake.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:34:03 PM EST
This is what we are scared about with this bio tech in 2013.

I see no reason to think this situation is going to get better in the next 20 years or so.

The threat is real and is increasing over time.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:34:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By C-4:

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.
View Quote

This. Simply shoving new genes into a virus or bacterium won't necessarily produce a more dangerous specie; it's more likely to produce a more fragile one. There's only so much room in the viral capsid or bacterial genome, and if you put something extra in then something must come out.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:35:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2013 3:50:22 PM EST by GarandM1]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MK262:


I'm sure they could up that 59% number if they really wanted to.



http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world
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Originally Posted By MK262:
Originally Posted By C-4:

There is too much genetic variability in humans to wipe them out with a single virus. There are many people here and in Africa with a natural immunity to the AIDS virus.


I'm sure they could up that 59% number if they really wanted to.

Dual-use concerns in biology have gained widespread publicity in the last couple of years thanks to GOF research, which attempts to start combating potential horrors by first creating them artificially in the lab. On September 12, 2011, Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center, in Rotterdam, took the stage at a meeting in Malta of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza. He announced that he had found a way to turn H5N1, a virus that almost exclusively infected birds, into a possible human-to-human flu. At that time, only 565 people were known to have contracted H5N1 flu, presumably from contact with birds, of which 331, or 59 percent, had died. The 1918 influenza pandemic had a lethality rate of only 2.5 percent yet led to more than 50 million deaths, so H5N1 seemed potentially catastrophic. Its saving grace was that it had not yet evolved into a strain that could readily spread directly from one human to another. Fouchier told the scientists in Malta that his Dutch group, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, had "mutated the hell out of H5N1,” turning the bird flu into something that could infect ferrets (laboratory stand-ins for human beings). And then, Fouchier continued, he had done "something really, really stupid,” swabbing the noses of the infected ferrets and using the gathered viruses to infect another round of animals, repeating the process until he had a form of H5N1 that could spread through the air from one mammal to another.

"This is a very dangerous virus,” Fouchier told Scientific American. Then he asked, rhetorically, "Should these experiments be done?” His answer was yes, because the experiments might help identify the most dangerous strains of flu in nature, create targets for vaccine development, and alert the world to the possibility that H5N1 could become airborne. Shortly after Fouchier’s bombshell announcement, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a University of Wisconsin virologist, who also received funding from the National Institutes of Health, revealed that he had performed similar experiments, also producing forms of the bird flu H5N1 that could spread through the air between ferrets. Kawaoka had taken the precaution of altering his experimental H5N1 strain to make it less dangerous to human beings, and both researchers executed their experiments in very high-security facilities, designated Biosafety Level (BSL) 3+, just below the top of the scale.


http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140156/laurie-garrett/biologys-brave-new-world

You know how I know the author has no understanding of biology?

ETA: Nevermind, it's Laurie Garrett. Everyone can cancel the panic now.

For the past 20 years Ms. Garrett has been screaming "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE AND IT'S RONALD REAGAN'S/GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT!!!". Her two main books, The Coming Plague and Betrayal of Trust, are interesting reads and have some good history in them, but reading them you get the impression that deep down inside Ms. Garrett would really, Really, REALLY like to see the horrible plagues she claims are coming.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:35:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Fullpower:
There are certain skill-sets, that once acquired, render an individual too dangerous to enjoy the usual life,liberty and pursuit of happiness.
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+1
Hitting a man-sized target at 100 yards...
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