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Debate over safety of modifying viruses

A panel of biosecurity experts has expressed overall satisfaction with a major report into the risks of conducting research that could create dangerous new viruses, but they still expressed concerns about the government’s ability to regulate the field.

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) met on 7 and 8 January to discuss a draft report it had prepared about the US’s policies for gain-of-function research.

This research involves modifying viruses in ways that can make them more virulent or more easily transmitted as a means to finding new ways to treat the naturally occurring versions.

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