Seriously, don't. But, if you have to, do so only a little!
H5N1, the bird flu, is only 5 mutations away from kicking humans in the ass and creating a pandemic.
You might remember a few months ago when scientists decided they WOULDN'T detail how to make H5N1 worse than it already is.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) asked the editors to strip the reports of their detailed methods, or just not do it, creating many arguments in the scientific community.
They did. And they published it, but included a lot more details than we thought they'd be allowed to.
So why publish it?
They claim it's to try and stay a step ahead of the mutations. We can see that, but we can also see the possibility of them never mutating before we made them mutate, too.
So they took ferrets and kept infecting them with a mutated version of the illness — after 10 infections, it went airborne.
The thing is, once it became airborne, it was no longer lethal. But we don't know if it will end up keeping its murderous aspects in humans.
So then they combined it with parts of H1N1 and that went airborne right away, skipping that natural mutation BS… which sounds ideal for bioterrorists!
The main result we get from this is that it doesn't take much for it to become airborne!
The question is, though — is this enough a benefit to keep performing dual purpose research (make it deadly and then figure out how to cure)??
[Image via AP Images.]