Rethinking gain-of-function experiments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Michael J. Imperiale, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract

Proponents of the use of gain-of-function (GOF) experiments with pathogens with pandemic potential (PPP) have argued that such experiments are necessary because they reveal important facets of pathogenesis and can be performed safely. Opponents of GOF experiments with PPP have argued that the risks outweigh the knowledge gained. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the vulnerability of human societies to a new PPP, while also validating some arguments of both camps, questioning others, and suggesting the need to rethink how we approach this class of experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01868-20
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalmBio
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Biosafety
  • Bioterrorism
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology

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