Tag: Bioterrorism

From Jurassic Park to H5N1: Is There a Human Threat?

| November 28, 2012 | 0 Comments
From Jurassic Park to H5N1: Is There a Human Threat?

This past summer, Nature and Science published a pair of studies, identifying mutations and other biological modifications that significantly elevate the contagiousness of H5N1, or bird flu. The set of articles sparked a heated discussion regarding both public access to and the appropriateness of potentially dangerous research on infectious disease. Although much of the concern surrounding studies of this nature is warranted, scientists and public health officials should err on the side of scientific freedom when considering restrictions on research and its public access.

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Infectious Entertainment

| November 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
Infectious Entertainment

“This just doesn’t feel right,” I reflected, while the bacteria I created spread from one continent to another, coloring the world map a menacing red. Maniacal enthusiasm in using my “DNA points” to upgrade my bacteria’s infectiousness, ability to transmit, and symptoms all too quickly meant I had no infected people left at the end of the game, rendering this round a total failure. Incidentally, I only made my creation extra-multi-resistant (and had there been a totally resistant option I probably would have vamped up to it in no time). Alas, it’s not every day you pretend to bring about the end of humanity using your own carefully customized pathogen! I would not, however, go as far as stating that “Killing billions has never been so fun”, as stated in one of the many positive reviews for the iPhone game app “Plague.”

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