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Smallpox

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Monday 16 May 2005 3.26pm
I'm very alarmed by the fact that the US are pushing for permission to genetically modify the smallpox virus. I cannot see any justification for this whatsoever given that the disease has been eradicated from the population. There's a campaign lobbying for the WHA to refuse this permission - if you want to know more, go to

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/science/story/0,12996,1484796,00.html or

http://www.smallpoxbiosafety.org/who/letter.php?language=english
Monday 16 May 2005 4.39pm
I'm less alarmed now, but still a bit cross.
Anonymous User
Monday 16 May 2005 4.43pm
I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the box but hasn't smallpox been eradicated?
Monday 16 May 2005 5.07pm
Yup.

But two labs (in the US and Russia) still have samples of the virus.
Anonymous User
Monday 16 May 2005 5.17pm
So they clearly don't need to create another vaccine if only two (presumably heavily controlled) samples exist.

So they're getting permission to create superbugs for biological warfare? How charming. I feel rather angry about it myself ma'am.
Monday 16 May 2005 5.51pm
Fancy that, I never knew it had been eradicated entirely.....
Tuesday 17 May 2005 12.17am
Yes, the last cases were in 1978, apparently. A photographer caught it in a lab, and then her mother caught it off her. The photographer died, her mother survived, but the photographer's father had a heart attack and died after seeing her in hospital.
Tuesday 17 May 2005 8.57am
You are a mine of information .....I think you should open a thread called "Interesting Fact for the Day".

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