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Thread: Synthetic Smallpox Delivery, Sir

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    Default Synthetic Smallpox Delivery, Sir

    Today, a highly controversial study in which researchers synthesized a smallpox relative from scratch is finally seeing the light of day. The paper, in PLOS ONE, spells out how virologist David Evans at the University of Alberta in Canada, and his research associate Ryan Noyce ordered bits of horsepox DNA from the internet, painstakingly assembled them, then showed that the resulting virus was able to infect cells and reproduce.

    The study stirred alarm when Science first reported it in July 2017 because it might give would-be terrorists a recipe to construct smallpox virus, a major human scourge vanquished in 1980. And now that it's out, many scientists say the paper doesn’t answer the most pressing question: Why did they do it?
    Maybe ethics does play a role in research...

    If I cannibalize someone's vaccine scar, do I gain immunity?

    The work arose in part from Tonix CEO Seth Lederman's fascination with Edward Jenner, the English physician who invented the first smallpox vaccine in 1796. Lederman, who says he’s “obsessed” with Jenner and has been working on a biography of the scientist for 20 years, is convinced that Jenner’s original vaccine, now named vaccinia, was derived from a virus circulating in horses, not cows, as folklore has it. “Jenner essentially says that” in his famous paper “Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccine,” Lederman says. A genetic analysis published in October 2017 strengthened his case, he says.

    In a conversation about one of Evan’s earlier vaccinia papers, Lederman told Evans that he’d love to know whether horsepox still works as a vaccine, but that he had had trouble getting hold of the virus. The only known samples are stored at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would not give permission for them to be used commercially, Lederman says.
    Sounds pretty straightforward.

    1. Mad scientist (and pharma CEO!!) wants to prove to the world that his smallpox vaccine formula is unparalleled.
    2. To test the hypothesis, develop and unleash Smallpox 2.0 to create experimental subjects.
    3. ???

    Next James Bond option, all rights reserved plox.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 06-20-2018 at 22:16.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


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