Fears of bioterrorism as scientists create deadly polio virus
A deadly virus has been made from scratch using standard laboratory equipment, an internet recipe and DNA freely available from mail-order companies.
Researchers from the State University of Stony Brook in New York said they wanted to show how easily lethal diseases could be developed by bioterrorists. They said the polio virus they made was not substantially different from the wild form. It was able to replicate and when injected into laboratory mice caused paralysis and death. In principle it would be possible to use the same procedure to make far deadlier but more complex viruses, such as smallpox, which could wreak havoc if they were to fall into the hands of terrorists.
It is the first time scientists have constructed a lifeform from its genome – the genetic recipe written in its DNA.
But other researchers have questioned the usefulness of the achievement. Clarence Peters, from the University of Texas Medical Centre, said: "We've known it was just a matter of time before it was done. I don't think this has been very helpful."
The polio virus was made over a period of two years by Jeronimo Cello, Aniko Paul and Eckard Wimmer of Stony Brook's School of Medicine. They used information from a public database and a DNA-synthesis company to supply some of the polio genes.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...