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Old 22nd January 2021, 03:31 PM   #1
TruthJonsen
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 73
Virologists "Gain of Function" (GoF) Research

Quote:
The term gain of function is itself a euphemism; the Obama White House more accurately described this work as “experiments that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity and/or transmissibility in mammals via the respiratory route.”
I found the linked article a fascinating and scary read but it is long. The surprises for me were:

1. The connection between American bio weapons programs and research to protect us from viruses.

2. That we intentionally make incredibly dangerous viruses from relatively non-threatening ones.

3. That despite warnings from scientists America continued to fund GoF research even in other countries when safety concerns were known.

4. The tendency of some scientists and journalists, regardless of their persuasion, to spend too little time in the hypothesis analysis phase and jump directly to the conclusion that meets their needs.

Quote:
Hoping to smooth over controversy by showing due diligence, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, founded in the BioShield era under President Bush, paid a consulting firm, Gryphon Scientific, to write a report on gain-of-function research, which by now was simply referred to as GoF. In chapter six of this thousand-page dissertation, published in April 2016, the consultants take up the question of coronaviruses. “Increasing the transmissibility of the coronaviruses could significantly increase the chance of a global pandemic due to a laboratory accident,” they wrote.

The Cambridge Working Group continued to write letters of protest and plead for restraint and sanity. Steven Salzberg, a professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, said, “We have enough problems simply keeping up with the current flu outbreaks — and now with Ebola — without scientists creating incredibly deadly new viruses that might accidentally escape their labs.” David Relman of Stanford Medical School said, “It is unethical to place so many members of the public at risk and then consult only scientists — or, even worse, just a small subset of scientists — and exclude others from the decision-making and oversight process.” Richard Ebright wrote that creating and evaluating new threats very seldom increases security: “Doing so in biology — where the number of potential threats is nearly infinite, and where the asymmetry between the ease of creating threats and the difficulty of addressing threats is nearly absolute — is especially counterproductive.” Lynn Klotz wrote, “Awful as a pandemic brought on by the escape of a variant H5N1 virus might be, it is SARS that now presents the greatest risk. The worry is less about recurrence of a natural SARS outbreak than of yet another escape from a laboratory researching it to help protect against a natural outbreak.” Marc Lipsitch argued that gain-of-function experiments can mislead, “resulting in worse not better decisions,” and that the entire gain-of-function debate as overseen by the NIH was heavily weighted in favor of scientific insiders and “distinctly unwelcoming of public participation.”
The Lab-Leak Hypothesis
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...pe-theory.html
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