Jump to content

Man-made supervirus?
for the science nerds out there!


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:27 AM

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/...1221-1p4mz.html

So judging by this story some crazy scientists have made a 'super-bug' that could 'wipe-out millions' and they need to be STOPPED!!!

Having not seen the research or the paper I'm not 100% sure about what they've done. I'm assuming they've cloned in some entry proteins into the H5N1 genome to enable transmission between species. If this is the case, this is something that is done in labs all over the world on a daily basis!

I'm not convinced that 'terrorists' would find these findings any more useful than those published daily in scientific journals! My own research was using herpes viruses to deliver the low density lipoprotein receptor for gene therapy...it's a very small leap from that to superbug!

So, do you agree with the americans or do you think this sort of censorship will do more harm than good?

disclaimer - I'm hoping that this might just be a logical discussion about the science and not some 50 pager thread about how there are terrorists under every bed waiting to kill us as we sleep...of course I realise that a discussion about science will probably attract three posts including my OP and my reply!!

Edit...I've just found this...Gwenda Kwek should be ashamed of herself...'cell-juice giving birth to live virus' for pity's sake, I think I'm stupider for having read this!

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/...1206-1og76.html

Edited by Livsh, 21 December 2011 - 11:30 AM.


#2 Feraldadathome

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:32 AM

From the way the issue is being reported I am disqioeted about this - both formt he perspective of freedom of scientific enquiry and the perceived risk to the community at large.

On the one hand we have the jumpy at shadows US security authorities that I don't trust to make sensible risk assessments, but there also appear to be concerns being raised by the scientific community regarding the potential risks.

I don't know enough about the science to form an opinon one way or another....

#3 witchesforest

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:39 AM

I guess it depends how easy to replicate the virus it actually is. I would generally trust a bunch of scientists over a nutty US government department.

Have you ever heard of this guy? He bought some stock standard cell lines for use in a conceptual art piece and found himself banged up as a terrorist:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/16/art_..._time_of_terror



#4 witchesforest

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:40 AM

Also, there's a perfectly good chance this virus will emerge in nature anyway. How is censorship going to prevent that from happening?

#5 MrsW87

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:43 AM

Firstly, please excuse my ignorance as I know NOTHING about science so am strictly speaking from a 'public interest' point of view but Im in two minds about it all. Part of me thinks that something like this has no business being made public... What is the point of making it public and all the 'what ifs' with the whole terrorist thing... Then another part of me thinks that if they are going to use tax payer money to do this research than the least they can do is share with the tax payers what they are doing.

Im also in two minds about the whole issue. I understand that we need research and testing like this to try and counteract outbreaks and pandemics, but I also feel like they are playing with fire.

I think the fact that they are making a big deal about it being public knowledge is more concerning than anything...

#6 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:55 AM

If there are terrorists motivated enough and with the right connections in the scientific community, I don't think placing restrictions on accessing the information will stop them.

Fortunately, I think the majority of terrorists are pretty dumb and scientific journal articles are not their preferred reading.



#7 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:01 PM

Alrighty, I've done a little bit of digging and I THINK what they did was test various naturally occuring mutations to figure out what kind of mutation might result in cross-species infection. If this is the case...and I truly have no real idea...then this is HUGELY important to the field of virology! To be able to understand the mutations that occur that change viruses from say a bird virus to a human virus will allow us to pre-empt the transition, develop vaccines to that particular part of the virus....seriously, the mind boggles!

I might turn this into a rant about the stupid media reporting one sided bollocks!!

#8 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:03 PM

QUOTE (Angelina Ballerina @ 21/12/2011, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fortunately, I think the majority of terrorists are pretty dumb and scientific journal articles are not their preferred reading.


I now have an image in my head of bin Laden wearing glasses reading a pile of Nature magazines!!

#9 Stellajoy

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE
I'm not convinced that 'terrorists' would find these findings any more useful than those published daily in scientific journals!


This. Censorship....never a good thing.

I swear to god (if i believed in one) that I am about to stop reading newspapers...

We need MORE SCIENTISTS in the world and less mass hysteria inducing bullsh*t

#10 Stellajoy

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:07 PM

QUOTE
Alrighty, I've done a little bit of digging and I THINK what they did was test various naturally occuring mutations to figure out what kind of mutation might result in cross-species infection. If this is the case...and I truly have no real idea...then this is HUGELY important to the field of virology! To be able to understand the mutations that occur that change viruses from say a bird virus to a human virus will allow us to pre-empt the transition, develop vaccines to that particular part of the virus....seriously, the mind boggles!


Yes, that is roughly what i could gather also.

exactly why censorship is a terrible idea

#11 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:09 PM

QUOTE (Stellajoy @ 21/12/2011, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, that is roughly what i could gather also.

exactly why censorship is a terrible idea



You've convinced me...let's turn this into a 'newspapers are full of morons' rant! Seriously, who do they get to write this drivel?

#12 Futureself

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE (Angelina Ballerina @ 21/12/2011, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If there are terrorists motivated enough and with the right connections in the scientific community, I don't think placing restrictions on accessing the information will stop them.

I have to agree with this. If releasing a "killer virus" was the aim of a terrorist group, they would be working away at that regardless and forging their own connections.
I can't see anyone simply ripping the pages out of Nature (so to speak) shouting 'Bingo!'; grabbing some gerbils and building a lab in the shed to bring their super bug to life using the article like a recipe off 'Food network'. Which is what is being implied.
ETD, can't spell

Edited by futureself, 21 December 2011 - 12:21 PM.


#13 kadoodle

Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:59 PM

Urgh, journalists.  They seriously need to raise the TER for journalism degrees, because far too many numpties are getting in.

OP - your saying you worked with the herpes virus is making my cold sore hurt sad.gif

#14 s-m

Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:06 PM

x

Edited by s-m, 17 August 2014 - 07:01 PM.


#15 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:19 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2011, 01:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Urgh, journalists. They seriously need to raise the TER for journalism degrees, because far too many numpties are getting in.

OP - your saying you worked with the herpes virus is making my cold sore hurt sad.gif


I agree, why can't they get journos with actual scientific experience!

I was working on a very VERY modified form of the herpes virus, completely unable to replicate inside cells...I did have friends working on retroviruses including live HIV, that was scary!

#16 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (s-m @ 21/12/2011, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not sure where to stand on scientific censorship, particularly since earlier today I was watching some of Oppenheimer's speeches after the first nuclear test. Scientific knowledge *per se* is not necessarily a bad thing, but the devil is in its application.

I also agree with the PP who said that it's probably only a matter of time until a naturally-occuring strain of H5N1 is transmissable between humans anyway...


I agree that a blanket 'science should never be censored' is not a good standpoint, but then nothing that takes such an absolute view of something is a good standpoint! In saying that there are a lot of very bad things that happen in the name of science...human experimentation by the Nazis is one appalling example that comes to mind and some sort of moral compass should be engaged.

The scientists I know are all underpaid and do what they do because they love science, want to make a difference to the world, want to help people...I don't know a single one who is hell bent on world domination!

It is just a matter of time before something like H5N1 will be transmissable, research to understand that will lead to treatments that will help WHEN it does happen! In this case it was good research and not a crazy superbug!!

#17 miriams

Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:03 PM

Depopulation


A popular theory espoused by some as the solution to a myriad of problems threatening their perceived hegemony.

#18 Feral Fennel Salad

Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:21 PM

I'm not a biologist (my training was in engineering and maths so extremely ignorant in the ways of single and multi celled life forms), and my guess is it's a journalist has to digest the information (wont have a clue whats really going on) and often s/he will vomit up something simplistic with an accompanying catchy apocalyptic title.

Nature does a pretty great job on it's own at permutation and combinations of stuff eg Hendra, Nipah, Ebola but people can increase the rate of crazy stuff happening and that can be concerning.

Am I worried? Nah.



#19 Jeneral

Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

The scary thing is that now, instead of this scientific paper - one of millions available, that you would normally have to specifically search for, and essentially require a fair bit of background knowledge just to find it, let alone read and understand the implications of it... we now also have public and easily accessable knowledge of the paper, a summary of what it contains, and also the potential evil use of that knowledge!

So now any old dumbass can just go kidnap a scientist and 'make' them do it.

#20 Feral Fennel Salad

Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:39 PM

I don't know if it's as simple as kidnapping a scientist and forcing them to do it.  I suspect the labs where this stuff are taking place are extremely expensive to set up and probably very secure with tight controls on biological and chemical supplies.

I don't fear terrorist cells getting this information (where are many effective low cost ways to achieve their objective of terrorizing) but if a nation could have the resources and motivation to develop such pathogens.

And just because it's published in a journal that doesn't mean very much.  The authors almost never reveal exactly how something was done (eg like a recipe) just enough information for competitors to know the article isn't crap. At least that's my experience with peer reviewed articles.



#21 TheCeriseClupea

Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:19 PM

Population control ! That's why my username is anti*ILLUMINATI*. I am sick of the lies & crap journalists spin.Not to mention the governing bodies around the world.

#22 Guest_Caramel_Swirl_*

Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:56 AM

..

Edited by Caramel_Swirl, 28 December 2011 - 09:17 PM.


#23 purplekitty

Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE (Livsh @ 21/12/2011, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is just a matter of time before something like H5N1 will be transmissable, research to understand that will lead to treatments that will help WHEN it does happen! In this case it was good research and not a crazy superbug!!
This.
In this case ,the researchers did not set out to create a superbug ,it just happened but it could easily happen in the wild.
We need to prepare for the inevitable.
QUOTE
Err the CDC (centre for disease control) has let a virus that causes a serious lifelong multisystem neurological disease that is killing thousands of people, free since the mid 1980's, when they took months to respond to an outbreak of it.
I'm not aware of this. What is it?


#24 Guest_Caramel_Swirl_*

Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:08 PM

.

Edited by Caramel_Swirl, 28 December 2011 - 09:17 PM.


#25 purplekitty

Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:27 PM

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis spread by the CDC?

I don't think so.








2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.