What if it falls into the hands of others? The scientific world reproduces deadly viruses in the laboratory environment. The aim is to develop treatment methods. But the possibility of viruses falling into the hands of terrorists scares scientists.
A team that opens the coded door and enters after intense security measures. All in white coats and masks. Inside the lab, they hardly ever talk to each other. They make their analysis with the latest microscope and go home. It is time to be ordinary for the team working on a very important scientific development for humanity. They joke with each other and have a good time with their children and spouses. But days later, one of them changes. That's where the real story begins. A virus that is key to our future is now in the hands of a mad scientist. Or the bad guys take control of a scientist in the lab. This time, the virus falls into the hands of terrorists… This is usually the case in science fiction movies. Today's scientists also produce viruses that are more dangerous than the other. All of them are real and capable of killing millions of people if they fall into the hands of the bad guys.
IF IT IS LEAKED TO TERRORISTS
Most recently, an international team led by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA reproduced the Spanish flu virus. The virus produced by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team, the leader of the research, has 1918 percent the same characteristics as the Spanish virus that killed 50 million people in 97. Professor Kawaoka said, “We applied the 'reverse genetics' technique in a laboratory setting. We created the virus with eight strains of avian flu in wild ducks. We then injected it into ferrets. Our goal is to determine how the virus spreads in nature. We study how viruses mutate in animals and infect humans. “Our work is to determine what we should do and what kinds of vaccines we need if we face threats like the Spanish virus or other deadly flu in the future.”
However, according to many experts, the virus in question may do more harm than good for humanity. In addition, there is a possibility that terrorist groups can reach the virus. Even the option of deliberately delivering the virus into bad hands is being discussed these days, when terrorist activities are at their peak. Professor Robert May, of the University of Oxford, said: “The work is insane. All that is done is very dangerous. “The greatest danger comes not from viruses in animals, but from overly ambitious scientists working in laboratories.” Virus expert Simon Wain-Hobson said: "The study is absolutely stupid. We are already fighting enough against the virus. Governments and institutions that support the project should immediately cut off their financial resources,” he warns. The team that created the virus argues that their laboratory is one of the best-protected facilities in the world and that there is no threat to fear.
HALF OF HUMANITY IS IN DANGER
In fact, Professor Kawaoka and his team are not the first in controversial virus development programs. US and Dutch experts resumed their virus studies last year, which they had suspended due to security risks in the past years. A team led by the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands has developed the deadliest version of the avian flu, or H5N1 virus, as it is medically known. The H5N1 virus was transmitted only from animals to humans. The new virus developed is also transmitted from person to person. Experts say their goal is to observe what would happen if the H5N1 virus mutated in nature and started to pass from person to person. The team says there is no security threat in their work. However, a warning came from Nature magazine to US and Dutch scientists, “You need to have your study done by an independent institution for risk-benefit analysis”. "Scientists shouldn't get involved in this kind of work until they are sure that the viruses they produce will save human lives," says Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University. In fact, according to some sources, the exit of H5N1 from the laboratory could mean the extinction of half of humanity.