Killer mousepox virus raises bioterror fears

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn311-killer-mousepox-virus-ra...

A virus that kills every one of its victims, by wiping out part of their immune system, has been accidentally created by an Australian research team. The virus, a modified mousepox, does not affect humans, but it is closely related to smallpox, raising fears that the technology could be used in biowarfare.

The discovery highlights a growing problem. How do you stop terrorists taking legitimate research and adapting it for their own nefarious purposes?

The Australian researchers had no intention of producing a killer virus. They were merely trying to make a mouse contraceptive vaccine for pest control. “But it’s a good way to show how to alter smallpox to make it more virulent,” says Ken Alibek, former second-in-command of the civilian branch of the Soviet germ-warfare programme.  10/1/2021



Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn311-killer-mousepox-virus-ra...

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