October 30th, 2003

2013

U.S. scientists creating new lethal viruses

...Now Buller has engineered a mousepox strain that kills 100 per cent of vaccinated mice, even when they were also treated with the antiviral drug cidofovir. A monoclonal antibody that mops up IL-4 did save some, however.

His team "optimised" the virus by placing the IL-4 gene in a different part of the viral genome and adding a promoter sequence to maximise production of the IL-4 protein, he told a biosecurity conference in Geneva last week.

Buller has also constructed a cowpox virus containing the mouse IL-4 gene, which is about to be tested on mice at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Cowpox infects people, but Buller says the IL-4 protein is species-specific and would not affect the human immune system. The experiments are being done at the second-highest level of biological containment.

[Full article]


I don't care how "secure" the labs are, this type of crap shouldn't be done. But then maybe I've watched Resident Evil too many times. :o/
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