Saturday, January 20, 2007

A chilling relic resurrected in the freezer

The vaults beneath the mosaic stone
Contain'd the dead of ages gone:
Their names were on the graven floor,
But now illegible with gore;
The carved crests, and curious hues
The varied marble's veins diffuse,
Were smear'd, and slippery — stain'd, and strown
With broken swords, and helms o'erthrown:
There were dead above, and the dead below
Lay cold in many a coffin'd row;

Byron

Concern as revived 1918 flu virus kills monkeys
Questions raised over safety of revived microbe.


Reports Nature

The 1918 influenza virus, which killed some 50 million people worldwide, has proved fatal to macaques infected in a laboratory. The study follows Nature's controversial publication of the virus's sequence in 2005, alongside a paper in Science that described the recreation of the virus from a corpse and its potency in mice.

Some scientists question the wisdom of reconstructing such a deadly virus. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?


Something’s are better left buried, beware the curse of Tamerlane

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