Farewell to smallpox virus?

Charles E Houpt choupt at world.std.com
Mon Aug 30 22:34:04 EST 1993


masuda at fcs280b.ncifcrf.gov (Michiaki Masuda) writes:
>   I heard that at ICV, there was a debate concerning the US government policy
>to collect and destruct all the smallpox virus stocks in the world. Actually,
>the decision seems to have been already made, and unless there is a strong
>claim against this policy from someone, there will be no smallpox virion
>on this planet after Dec. 31 this year.

This week, New Scientist (a British science magazine) had an editorial
advocating the extinction of smallpox.  The editorial claimed that
if we ever needed the virus again, it can be reconstructed from its
DNA sequence.

Is this possible now?  Has anyone actually reconstructed a complete
virus starting from just a DNA sequence?



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