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Vox reporter warns of virus leaks at world labs

A reporter for Vox warned on Monday that researchers studying viruses in labs across the globe could put the world at risk of another pandemic unless institutes take “adequate precautions” to protect against virus leaks.

Kelsey Piper, a staff writer for Vox who reported on how the world could prepare for the next pandemic, told Hill.TV that gain-of-function research — in which virologists make a pathogen more infectious to develop more effective treatments and vaccines — was just as dangerous as studying natural viruses.

Both are common methods of studying viruses.

“There’s some things better to leave buried,” Piper said. “Maybe there’s some small probability they would cross over into humans on their own, but we’re raising that probability a lot if we handle the bats, take a bunch of samples, take the samples back to a lab, infect other animals … all of those are decisions that could be made thoughtfully but have been done by default.”

See more of the interview above.

Tags Gain of function Kelsey Piper Kelsey Piper National Institution of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Research

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