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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.
Experts offer approaches for moving the GOF conundrum forward that are not mutually exclusive, such as lifting the moratorium, seeking international consensus, and establishing a review board.
The next step in the deliberations is a 2-day National Academies of Science symposium in March.
Some topics: weighing risks and benefits, ethical issues, and global involvement.
The analysis is a key part of a federal review of controversial studies on H5N1 and other pathogens.
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