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Unleashing the Beast: The Dangers of Mutant Ebola Research

Ebola, a virus with a fatality rate ranging from 25 to 90%, has become the subject of controversial experimentation at Hebei Medical University in Shijiazhuang City. Chinese scientists at this institution have pushed the boundaries of ethical research by creating a mutant Ebola virus through the combination of a livestock disease, (Vesicular Stomatitis) with an Ebola protein. Shockingly, their experiments have resulted in the death of hamsters within a mere three days.

This audacious and morally dubious research aims to circumvent biosafety regulations, raising profound concerns about the potential for catastrophic consequences. The decision to bypass established biosafety protocols reflects a dangerous disregard for the potential risks posed by manipulating deadly pathogens.

Ebola virus (EBOV) is classified as a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) pathogen, requiring the highest level of containment in specialized laboratories. These BSL-4 facilities are equipped with stringent safety measures, including decontamination protocols, specialized protective gear, and dedicated ventilation systems.

However, the scientists at Hebei Medical University have exploited a loophole in the system by utilizing a different virus, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), engineered to carry Ebola glycoprotein (GP).

This reckless disregard for established safety protocols is reminiscent of the speculation surrounding the origins of the COVID-19 virus, with some suggesting that it may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan due to lax biosafety measures. The parallels between these incidents underscore the urgent need for greater oversight and regulation of gain-of-function research on deadly viruses.

The potential consequences of such experiments cannot be overstated. The release of a highly virulent and genetically modified virus into the environment could lead to another devastating pandemic, with far-reaching implications for global health and security. It is imperative that the international community takes decisive action to prevent such a scenario from unfolding, including imposing a moratorium on risky gain-of-function research and strengthening oversight mechanisms to ensure compliance with biosafety regulations.

Dr. Richard Ebright, a chemical biologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, expressed to that it is improbable for a laboratory incident involving VSV to cause widespread infection among the public.

Gain-of-function experimentation with the Ebola virus at Hebei Medical University highlights the dangers posed by the manipulation of deadly pathogens. The pursuit of scientific knowledge must be tempered by a commitment to ethical conduct and responsible research practices to safeguard against the potential for widespread harm.

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