01:39 GMT +306 December 2019
Listen Live
    A research assistant with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA carries a portable cooler marked with a biohazard label past the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015

    Potential Outbreak of Incurable Synthetic Virus Endangers Humanity in Coming Years - Study

    © AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes
    Tech
    Get short URL
    664
    Subscribe

    The cities, which earlier had been centres of life pulsing with millions of people, soon turned into decrepit cement deserts where yesterday's energies were only recognizable by a shattered neon sign, barely visible through enormous tree branches grown into ruined skyscrapers.

    This apocalyptic image is a common starting scene in sci-fi novels, movies, and videogames but a newly-published study by a group of international scientists now warns that the picture is closer to reality.

    Lab-created synthetic viruses could cause a global pandemic that eventually would lead to widespread death, according to the US-based think-tank "Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation".

    There is a substantial probability that a pandemic with over one hundred million fatalities could be seeded from an undetected lab-acquired infection”, a Senior Science Fellow at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Lynn Klotz said, cited by The Humanoid.

    In particular, the virus outbreak could be caused by "human error" in secured bio laboratories, where one infected staffer could become a transmitter of a synthetic-created infection that, in turn, would be hyper-contagious, the study warns.

    According to Klotz, the risk of those viruses escaping from a special secured facility is “as high as 30 percent, a risk too dangerous to live with”.

    The earlier research conducted by Klotz, citing fellow scientists, suggested, for instance, that the quick spread of the H1N1 in 2009 pandemic virus - also known as "swine flu" - throughout the world, "no matter what attempts were made to slow it, is convincing evidence that it is nearly impossible to stop an influenza pandemic once it appears".

    The study also points to the high possibility that “malevolent individuals, organizations, or governments” with “sinister motives” could use lab-created pathogens as real biological weapons.

    According to the research, one possible prevention measure is to quarantine lab staffers after shifts and relocate biological and virus facilities to remote, lightly populated areas.

    The scholar also suggested that a lab originated virus escape could be undetectable, indicating that humanity may never notice the gruesome consequences until it is too late.

    Related:

    New 'Sextortion' Virus May Take Screenshots When Users Search for Porn - Reports
    Measles-Like Virus Leads to Dolphin Deaths Along Tuscany Coast
    Secret Dutch Mole Aided Stuxnet Virus Attack on Iranian Nuclear Program – Reports
    Scientists Alarmed as Transgenic Mosquitos Meant to Combat Zika Virus Interbreed With Local Species
    Tags:
    biohazard, threat, extinction, Outbreak, virus
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik