Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Here's an idea, maybe not destroy irreplaceable* things? - Smallpox

*means I'm aware that as long as its sequenced its not a total loss... by TODAY'S science standards.

To paraphrase the popsci article, stays of execution have happened for this idea a few times since the 70's. With the last KNOWN living samples of Smallpox being in 2 very far away from each other labs, developing nations (who would be most effected by a new outbreak) have been calling for its destruction for some time now.

I think this is a horrible idea, and popsci commenter All4it has a very good point. In addition, they're asking for the destruction of something that 1) possibly cannot be replicated 100%, 2) possibly could help save all of humanity in the future (after vaccinations for a seemingly dead threat have dwindled) and 3) we have no idea the implications.

Besides decades-old rumors of secret additional samples in less-than-friendly (to USA) nations, there is also the reasearch idea. We're STILL discovering things about other plagues that a living sample would be a fantastic resource for cute lab researchers (like wifey) to work with.

Sources ->

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