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(New Scientist)   For some reason, scientists create genetic switch to guard against 'superviruses' that escape from the lab. Um, guys? Is there something you need to tell us?   (newscientist.com) divider line 30
    More: Scary, microRNAs, scientists, decontamination, base pairs, drug resistant, switches, avian influenza  
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2208 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Aug 2013 at 6:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-13 02:23:26 PM  
Just poking sticks into the dark here.
Needs more study.
Study needs more money.
Move along.
 
2013-08-13 04:13:16 PM  
When they shoot a commercial space rocket, subby, they have a button to destroy the rocket mid-flight just in case.
When they arm a nuclear weapon, you have to work around numerous safety measures designed to render the device inactive in case of several(or one) wrong attempt(s).
So when they're building a deadly biological pathogen in the lab essentially, you're damn right they put in a kill switch.
 
2013-08-13 06:08:39 PM  
They're going to kill us eventually anyway. Just get it over with.
 
2013-08-13 06:20:33 PM  
601... 601... 601... 601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...  601... 601... 601...
 
2013-08-13 06:23:19 PM  
I know I didn't say I was comin down,

I know you didn't know I was here in town,

But bay-yay-yaby you can tell me if anyone can,

Baby, can you dig your man?

He's a righteous man,

Tell me baby, can you dig your man?
 
2013-08-13 06:26:56 PM  

Nefarious: I know I didn't say I was comin down,

I know you didn't know I was here in town,

But bay-yay-yaby you can tell me if anyone can,

Baby, can you dig your man?

He's a righteous man,

Tell me baby, can you dig your man?


Worst farking climax to a book I've ever read

/The rest was great
 
2013-08-13 06:30:04 PM  

The Incredible Sexual Egg: Nefarious: I know I didn't say I was comin down,

I know you didn't know I was here in town,

But bay-yay-yaby you can tell me if anyone can,

Baby, can you dig your man?

He's a righteous man,

Tell me baby, can you dig your man?

Worst farking climax to a book I've ever read

/The rest was great


Many times it's the journey not the destination.  IE: The Dark Tower
 
2013-08-13 06:43:40 PM  
Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.
 
2013-08-13 06:48:32 PM  

Nefarious: I know I didn't say I was comin down,

I know you didn't know I was here in town,

But bay-yay-yaby you can tell me if anyone can,

Baby, can you dig your man?

He's a righteous man,

Tell me baby, can you dig your man?


Cibola! My life for you!

/bumpty bumpty bump.
//Hey Trashcan Man, don't you know playing with fire makes you wet the bed?
 
2013-08-13 06:55:58 PM  

DetrimentalScience: Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.


^ its a living thing... who knows if it randomly mutates to something worse
 
2013-08-13 07:04:30 PM  

Virulency: DetrimentalScience: Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.

^ its a living thing... who knows if it randomly mutates to something worse


A Virus!? Yes it's a living thing.  It's a terrible thing to lose, that's the given thing.
 
2013-08-13 07:35:45 PM  
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
God damn kill switch!
 
2013-08-13 07:46:38 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: Virulency: DetrimentalScience: Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.

^ its a living thing... who knows if it randomly mutates to something worse

A Virus!? Yes it's a living thing.  It's a terrible thing to lose, that's the given thing.


So, you're of the opinion that these microbiologists are takin' a dive?
 
2013-08-13 08:08:39 PM  
Can't hurt to drink a nightly can of sterno just in case.
 
2013-08-13 08:10:45 PM  
The clock was red
 
2013-08-13 08:21:04 PM  

Somaticasual: When they shoot a commercial space rocket, subby, they have a button to destroy the rocket mid-flight just in case.
When they arm a nuclear weapon, you have to work around numerous safety measures designed to render the device inactive in case of several(or one) wrong attempt(s).
So when they're building a deadly biological pathogen in the lab essentially, you're damn right they put in a kill switch.


Great! A kill switch that could simply mutate into nonexistence.
 
2013-08-13 08:58:44 PM  

DetrimentalScience: Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.


Generally the conditions for this sort of research (proposed gain of function experiments) are done under pretty tight conditions already to prevent viral escape. Other than deliberate release the only real vector for escape from a facility would be the humans working with it and some sort of accidental infection. With this engineered in microRNA the virus can't get any sort of foothold because it can't establish a foothold in humans (or mice) because it can't successfully infect in the first place. And I'm guessing they would be pretty wary of having any birds around since that would be a pretty stupid idea. Birds also aren't very good to work with in a lab, and aren't very good at escaping either (unlike mice).

It's also easy to keep track of your cultured virus to make sure the microRNA is still present and not mutated.

It is actually a pretty good fail safe given the lab conditions the virus would be in for any research.

blahpers: Great! A kill switch that could simply mutate into nonexistence.


Except you can easily sequence your cultures to make sure it stays present. And it doesn't need to be activated, it renders the virus incapable of replicating in people or mice at all. So no way to establish an infection in a population. It isn't like they just keep these replicating indefinitely in the ferrets to maintain them.
 
2013-08-13 09:01:03 PM  
hoopspeak.com

Life finds a way
 
2013-08-13 09:15:13 PM  

Somaticasual: When they shoot a commercial space rocket, subby, they have a button to destroy the rocket mid-flight just in case.
When they arm a nuclear weapon, you have to work around numerous safety measures designed to render the device inactive in case of several(or one) wrong attempt(s).
So when they're building a deadly biological pathogen in the lab essentially, you're damn right they put in a kill switch.


That's what they want you to think! They've been working with deadly biological pathogens for decades. Why just come up with this now ?
 
2013-08-13 09:19:47 PM  
There should probably be an entire science devoted to kill switches and how they might fail. We sort of do that with engineering in general, that should be a pretty big priority with anything that self-replicates.
 
2013-08-13 09:23:33 PM  
danceswithfat.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-08-13 10:52:29 PM  
The microRNA put into the virus is chosen so that when it is met by a matching strand in its host organism, the virus's replication genes get shut down.
By using a microRNA that exists in human and mice lung cells but not in ferrets, tenOever and his team developed a modified virus that could replicate in ferrets during their experiments but not in mice or humans


Cool. You could probably examine populations of all sorts of human ethnic groups to find microRNA segments that are often or rarely expressed and use those as on or off switches to engage in a little ethnic cleaning.

If in 100 years global warming has advanced so that the highlands of Tibet become desirable cool  real-estate that India, Pakistan, China, and Russia are fighting over then the bio-tech may exist for ethnic specific deadly diseases.
 
2013-08-13 11:40:38 PM  
HairBolus:
Cool. You could probably examine populations of all sorts of human ethnic groups to find microRNA segments that are often or rarely expressed and use those as on or off switches to engage in a little ethnic cleaning.

That's what I was thinking, too.  This could bring ethnic cleansing into the 21st century.
 
2013-08-14 12:08:16 AM  
HIV
 
2013-08-14 12:28:32 AM  
arcas:

HairBolus:
Cool. You could probably examine populations of all sorts of human ethnic groups to find microRNA segments that are often or rarely expressed and use those as on or off switches to engage in a little ethnic cleaning.

That's what I was thinking, too. This could bring ethnic cleansing into the 21st century.


In the early '70's Playboy published a story called "Yellow...." You can see where this was going.
 
2013-08-14 09:29:45 AM  
M-O-O-N, that spells fark. Laws yes...
 
2013-08-14 09:39:51 AM  

DetrimentalScience: Yeah because we've never seen a virus mutate or gene swap in other animals. Nothing bad can EVER come of this. This is like putting a lock your doors and declaring that its impossible for anyone to break in. Is it a good idea to lock your doors? Yes. Does it completely prevent the possibility of a break-in? Nope. At best this just makes the virus slightly safer.


Yeah, you probably have a better understanding of pathology and virology than the pathologists and virologists actually doing the research. Good point.
 
2013-08-14 10:03:30 AM  
ts1.mm.bing.net
 
2013-08-14 11:17:18 AM  

HairBolus: The microRNA put into the virus is chosen so that when it is met by a matching strand in its host organism, the virus's replication genes get shut down.
By using a microRNA that exists in human and mice lung cells but not in ferrets, tenOever and his team developed a modified virus that could replicate in ferrets during their experiments but not in mice or humans

Cool. You could probably examine populations of all sorts of human ethnic groups to find microRNA segments that are often or rarely expressed and use those as on or off switches to engage in a little ethnic cleaning.

If in 100 years global warming has advanced so that the highlands of Tibet become desirable cool  real-estate that India, Pakistan, China, and Russia are fighting over then the bio-tech may exist for ethnic specific deadly diseases.


Most differences between human populations boil down to single nucleotide polymorphisms, and even then it is often a frequency difference instead of a binary classification. And while there probably will be microRNA expression differences between populations, they will probably be restricted to tissue types that aren't appropriate. Like say skin cells when what we want are microRNAs expressed in lungs (for aerosol pathogens) for instance.

But it isn't totally impossible, just not a very good bet.

/Doesn't support ethnic cleansing of any kind obviously.
 
2013-08-14 01:15:00 PM  
why dont they use the kill switch for normal viruses jeez jerks
 
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