by Candace Hathaway on The Blaze
Risky gain-of-function research has never been necessary or beneficial for vaccine development, but it has allowed scientists to collect large taxpayer-funded grants, numerous scientists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In virology, gain-of-function research typically involves modifying pathogens to be more infectious and lethal.
While the recent COVID outbreak cannot be verifiably and indisputably traced back to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the controversy has encouraged more scientists to speak out against the risky experimentation.
Additionally, other confirmed lab leaks have resulted in unnecessary and avoidable outbreaks, including an anthrax leak that infected 10 American researchers in 2014 and a smallpox leak that infected Birmingham, England, residents in 1978.
Supporters of the dangerous research argue that it aids in vaccine development and allows scientists to have an edge in preventing future virus outbreaks. Critics insist that the medical benefits of gain-of-function research have never been actualized but remain only “theoretical.”
Dr. Hideki Kakeya, an engineering professor at Japan’s University of Tsukuba, told the DCNF, “As far as I know, they are all theoretical and no beneficial examples in the real world exist.”
“There is a slim chance of GoF contributing to therapeutics in the real world. It’s often the case that scientists lie to get huge grants,” Kakeya added.