Virologists in China have published a paper detailing how they created more than 100 hybrid viruses from H5N1 and the H1N1 strain that caused the deadly swine flu pandemic of 2009. The virologists wanted to see if any combinations would transmit between mammals—five did.
The study, published in the journal Science, comes exactly a year after the release of a controversial paper describing how the H5N1 bird flu could theoretically be modified to become human-contagious. At that time, the international community had called for a moratorium on similar research because of threats related to the virus escaping or the information being used for deadly purposes. Various outbreaks of H1N1 have, over the years, proven extremely dangerous. However, researchers argue we need to learn more about how these viruses mutate, and indeed how hybrids form in nature, to better tackle any future outbreaks.
The real fun starts when terrorists start doing this instead of scientists, but mixing in some Ebola for giggles.
Remember, if they’re religious types then it won’t matter if they kill off humanity. They’re all sinners anyway, right?. That’s why religious beliefs matter–because whether it’s controlling the science education of children or trying to engineer the reunification with a non-existent God, those beliefs have an impact on the lives of those who don’t share them.
China having the ability to destroy humanity with a virus bothers me very little. One: they’ve probably had that for a while, along with the U.S. and Russia, and two: they wouldn’t ever use it.
But a crazy religious group who just kidnapped a few scientists (and their families) in order to bring about the end times…yeah, that scares the shit out of me.