Mutant DIY Viruses May Wipe us Out, But That's the Price of Progress

By Gary Cutlack on at

Researchers suggest we're playing a form of Russian roulette in laboratories across the world, as scientists fiddle with dangerous viruses to understand how they work. One of these might destroy humanity Resident Evil style, but the chance of finding something useful apparently makes the risk worthwhile.

Researchers from the Harvard and Yale universities in the US came up with the claim that if ten high-containment labs were to do such dangerous virus-fiddling experiments for ten years, there's a 20 per cent chance someone might infect themselves, leave the building, and in an exciting turn for survivalists, worse-case-scenario-ists and Morrissey, infect and kill masses of other people.

Marc Lipsitch, from the Harvard School of Public Health, said: "We are not saying this is going to happen, but when the potential is a pandemic, even a small chance is something you have to weigh very heavily." [PLOS via Guardian]