Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Bio-Engineered Mouse Virus Takes US Closer to the Ultimate Accident Or Bioweapon

Default content image
Listen
Media Options
Listen

A virus that kills every one of its victims, by wiping out part of their immune system, has been accidentally createdby an Australian research team. The modified mousepox virus does not affect humans, but it is closely related tosmallpox, raising fears that the technology could be used in biowarfare or in unprincipled commercial applications.Critics have long warned that biogenetic research could lead to an accidental or purposeful release of geneticallymodified organisms that, like this virus, have dangerous and unpredictable effects. Now, the technology developed inAustralia gives new reason for fear.

In this case, after internal discussion, the Australian researchers, decided to terminate the project and go public.A lead researcher warned that the process could theoretically be used on almost any virus in existence, but addedthat it could also be put to good use in developing vaccines or understanding the immune system.

But the discovery highlights a series of growing problem: Who decides what research promotes the public good? How doyou stop governments or terrorists from conducting clandestine experiments, or from taking legitimate research andadapting it for their own purposes? And perhaps more routinely, who monitors commercial and military researchconducted behind closed doors or behind the veil of national security?

Guests:

  • Joe Grossman, UPI reporter in California.
  • Annabelle Duncan, Chief of a Division of the Commonwealth Industrial and Scientific Research Organization,Canberra, Australia.
  • Matthew Messelson, Professor of Biology at Harvard University; an advisor to the US government during thebirth of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
  • Andrew Kimbrell, Director of the International Center for Technology Assessment, Washington, DC.

Related link:

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 18, 2018Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing to Testify Against Kavanaugh
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop