All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome. “The biologist has become an engineer, coding new life forms as desired.” Which may produce breakthroughs in public health; equally, it may produce plagues and other horrors on a global scale, as the science gets easier to replicate. “The tracking of novel DNA and life forms should be implemented on a voluntary or mandatory basis immediately” (7,380 words)
Ten years after SARS, a new virus strikes China, perhaps more deadly, and certainly harder to contain. “The H7N9 flu now evolving before Humanity’s eyes in China has killed 18 percent of the 108 people with lab-confirmed infections as of April 22. That’s a lethality about nine times the mortality rate of the Great Influenza of 1918-19, which claimed at least 50 million lives”. It’s not a bird flu, but what is it, and where does it hide? (6,400 words)
Eye-opening detail on scientists who have engineered a killer bird-flu: “I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this. I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.” Should governments stop them?