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Re-creating known pathogenic viruses and making existing bacteria more dangerous are among the top threats.
Some experts say that offering a manual for re-creating an orthopoxvirus is inherently dangerous.
Researchers are relieved to resume experiments, but some public health questions remain.
In a sample from a patient who died, researchers saw signs that the H7N9 virus had started to mutate to a form resistant to Tamiflu.
Though the technology isn't likely within reach of do-it-yourselfers, it could already be in use by rogue governments, experts say.
The group voted unanimously on policy regarding avian flu and other viruses.
Drew TW, Mueller-Doblies UU. Dual use issues in research — a subject of increasing concern? Vaccine 2017 (published online Aug 20)
Evans NG. Ethical and philosophical considerations for gain-of-function policy: the importance of alternate experiments. (Commentary) Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2018 Feb 8
Koblentz GD. The de novo synthesis of horsepox virus: implications for biosecurity and recommendations for preventing the reemergence of smallpox. Health Secur 2017 (published online Aug 24)
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dual use research of concern in the life sciences: current issues and controversies. Sep 14, 2017
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