Virology expert speaks in favor of proposed H7N9 ‘gain of function’ experiments
A group of scientists, led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison wrote attempting to make their case for performing “gain of function” experiments on the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, citing multiple reasons it could benefit medical science.
This is clearly controversial with scientists coming out on both sides of the debate, just as they did in 2011 with the H5N1 experiments.
On the Saturday, August 10 airing of Dispatch Radio, Vincent Racaniello Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University joined us to discuss this issue in more detail (listen below).
Racaniello explained to the radio audience what a gain of function experiment was, and went on to make his case of why he was for doing it. I also introduced some of the arguments against performing these experiments to the prominent virologist for his response.
More details of Dr. Racaniello’s position on the proposed experiments can be found at Virology Blog
Visit Dr. Racaniello’s Facebook page–This Week in Virology