Scientists from Boston University have been criticised for 'playing with fire' when it came to light that they were responsible for creating a potentially fatal new strain of Covid in the laboratory.
According to DailyMail.com, the group created a hybrid virus by merging Omicron with the original Wuhan strain. This virus was responsible for the deaths of 80 percent of the mice in the research.
In the new research, which hasn't been reviewed by other scientists, a team of scientists from Boston and Florida took out Omicron's spike protein, which has a unique shape that binds to human cells and lets them take over. It has always been there, but over time it has changed. The spike protein in Omicron has a lot of changes, which is what makes it so infectious. Researchers added Omicron's spike protein to the original wildtype strain that first appeared in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic. The scientists compared how mice did with the new hybrid strain to how they did with the original Omicron strain.
In spite of concerns that comparable procedures may have contributed to the outbreak of the pandemic, risky viral modification research is still being conducted even in the United States, as was shown by the disclosure.
A renowned scientist in the Israeli government, Professor Shmuel Shapira, said that "this should be entirely outlawed, it's playing with fire."
It is speculated that gain of function research, which is the process by which viruses are purposely altered to be more infectious or lethal, was at the core of the development of Covid.
A Chinese facility that was only a few kilometres away from the initial cluster of cases conducted research on bat coronaviruses in a manner similar to that described above.
Since 2017, however, there have been significant new limitations placed on the practise in the United States.
The discovery is a clear example of gain of function research, according to Dr. Richard Ebright, a chemist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who was interviewed by DailyMail.com.
'It is important that supervision of improved possible pandemic pathogen research be reinforced,' he noted, 'if we are to avert a future lab-generated pandemic.'
"The study is a clear example of gain of function research of concern and enhanced potential pandemic pathogen (ePPP) research," Dr. Ebright told DailyMail.com. "ePPP" stands for enhanced potential pandemic pathogen.
'It is especially concerning that this new US-government ePPP research - like the previous US-government ePPP research on chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses at Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have caused the pandemic - appears not to have undergone the prior risk-benefit review that is mandated under the policies of the US government. 'It is especially concerning that this new US-government ePPP research on chimeric SARS-
"Improving the governance of ePPP research is an absolute must if we are going to prevent the next laboratory-created pandemic from occurring.
'It is imperative that the existing policies mandating prior risk-benefit assessment of ePPP research be followed, and it is imperative that officials at US-government agencies who repeatedly have placed the public in danger by repeatedly violating the existing policies be held accountable,' says the statement.
These experiments appear to be extremely irresponsible, according to Professor David Livermore, a professor of microbiology at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Livermore told DailyMail.com, "given the strong likelihood that the Covid pandemic originated from the escape of a lab-manipulated coronavirus in Wuhan, these experiments seem profoundly unwise."