Dr. Terrence Tumpey examines specimens of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus in the US
Public health experts have warned that controversial experiments on mutant viruses could put human lives in danger by unleashing an accidental pandemic. Several groups of scientists around the world are creating and altering viruses to understand how natural strains might evolve into more lethal forms that spread easily among humans. But in a report published on Tuesday, researchers at Harvard and Yale universities in the US argue that the benefits of the work are outweighed by the risk of pathogenic strains escaping from laboratories and spreading around the world. More