Posted On: Saturday - June 12th 2021 8:45PM MST
In Topics:   Science  Healthcare Stupidity  Kung Flu Stupidity
OK, that's gain of function. This term sounds like it was made to not mean very much. I am not in the science of virology, so maybe it has more connotations for a virologist, but how about something like "Deadliness upgrade" instead? That's what it is, changing viruses that originally only harm animals into ones that can harm and kill humans. Is "gain of function" purposefully obscure so that the public will not wonder "just why the hell are people doing this?"
Peak Stupidity wondered* back in our post Nicholas Wade on that Wuhan lab and origins of the Kung Flu why this gain-of-function research is being done at all. The author, science writer Nick Wade asked the question too.
The stated purpose, per that article, is to mutate or recombine the virus for reasons of being able to develop a vaccine that could fight such a virus. It's not just that Wuhan lab that does this work, and it's not just on these specific SARS viruses. There are labs that do the same for flu strains. I just don't get it. Why take the risk of handling the newly developed strains that are harmful to humans, just for the chance that they will develop naturally and people will need a vaccine? If it takes lots of work in the lab to make this mutation happen, what's the chances that it will develop naturally and require a vaccine? I don't know - I'll ask a virologist next time I meet one.
It seems the risk of gain-of-function projects outweighs the benefits. Then, when I read about Dr. Anthony Fauci and his putting money into the Wuhan lab for this research in cooperation with the Chinese, I wonder more about some truly evil intent, right under our noses, in plain sight. We do tend to give away technology to the Chinese left and right, but with all the animosity between the countries, would American researchers give away bio-weapons technology? That's what this is. There's no difference between gain-of-function research and bioweapons research other than the names of the labs. If the American and Chinese "authorities" are cooperating on this, who is their common enemy?
Why do you go about taking chances that may result in a real life version of Contagion?