Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Is Not Good, Not At All.

Chinese researchers are catching proper hell for playing around with potentially lethal viruses, developing hybrid variations of influenza  that would be easily transmissible between mammals.  The Chinese claim they're only developing these hybrids so they can create vaccines against them   Their Western counterparts say that's bullshit.

Robert May, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, told The Independent:
“They claim they are doing this to help develop vaccines and such like. In fact the real reason is that they are driven by blind ambition with no common sense whatsoever. The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring. They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It’s appallingly irresponsible.”
It remains unclear how easily the hybrids would spread between humans, and for that matter how lethal they would be if they did. But to an extent, that's not really the point: the concern here is over the fact that the researchers are even trying to create a virus which combines transmissibility and lethality in the first place. 
Maybe Shifty Steve should give his buddies in the Politburo a call and tell them to smarten the hell up.


Purple library guy said...

Their western counterparts are all "Come on, we know it wasn't like that when we did it secretly, of course it isn't like that when you're doing it!"

Purple library guy said...

Mind you, I know a guy in molecular biology. Does cancer research. He says that when it comes to disease research, they routinely do an awful lot of stuff that sounds pretty bad.

Like, he knew someone who was involved in an attempt to come up with a protocol against engineering biological weapons. They had a terrible time coming up with definitions that wouldn't block normal research. Finally someone was saying "OK, can we at least agree that deliberately making a disease organism more virulent should be off limits?" and there was nodding all round until someone said, "Hang on, no good--that was my doctoral thesis."