Resurrecting Smallpox? Easier Than You Think

The virus’s genome is already online. You just need the right lab.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Weeeeeellll…yes and no. Smallpox is a BIIIIG genome – not far off in size to the bacterial genome famously resynthesised by Craig Venter et al., a while ago.  This means it would be a huge undertaking, cost a LOT of money, and need sophisticated facilities to do it.

Not something your average cave-dwelling fanatic could do, then!

States could do it, however: a well-funded lab in even a country like North Korea could theoretically resynthesise a poxvirus – but why bother??  We have vaccines against smallpox right now; growing poxviruses and vaccinia virus in particular is a well-established biotechnology still.

SO I think this is an artificial concern, to be honest. 

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Resurrecting Smallpox? Easier Than You Think”

  1. Antoni Torres Collado Says:

    I guess is easier to thaw a sample of human tissue containing small pox from before 1975, don´t you think?

  2. Rinderpest and its eradication | ViroBlogy Says:

    […] We have also made a natural species go extinct – but it won’t be missed.  Like smallpox, it was completely sequenced some time ago, so we could theoretically recreate it if we ever needed to. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: