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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?   ( divider line
    More: Scary, microRNAs, scientists, decontamination, base pairs, drug resistant, switches, avian influenza  
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2217 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Aug 2013 at 6:09 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-08-13 10:52:29 PM  
2 votes:
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 08:21:04 PM  
1 vote:

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 08:08:39 PM  
1 vote:
Can't hurt to drink a nightly can of sterno just in case.
2013-08-13 07:35:45 PM  
1 vote:
God damn kill switch!
2013-08-13 07:04:30 PM  
1 vote:

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.
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