Boston University falsely denies gain-of-function accusations, lamely claims creation of chimeric SARS-2 virus will lead to "Targeted therapeutic interventions to help fight against future pandemics"
Nothing will come of this, nobody cares, and the virus tinkerers will tinker on.
“They’ve sensationalized the message, they misrepresent the study and its goals in its entirety,” says Ronald B. Corley, NEIDL director and BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine chair of microbiology, of the news reports. …
Corley says the news reports pulled one line from the paper’s abstract out of context, with the Daily Mail suggesting in its headline that the researchers had created a “deadly Covid strain with an 80 percent kill rate.” The newspaper went on to make a series of other misleading claims, including that the study was “gain of function research,” alleging researchers set out to make a more deadly virus.
Not true, says Corley. And the University’s statement strongly denied it.
“We want to address the false and inaccurate reporting about Boston University COVID-19 research, which appeared today in the Daily Mail,” said the BU statement. “First, this research is not gain-of-function research, meaning it did not amplify the [wild-type virus] or make it more dangerous. In fact, this research made the virus replicate less dangerous.”
Giving the wild type SARS-2 virus the BA.1 spike made the wild type slightly less pathogenic in mice, while at the same time granting it all the transmissibility-enhancing Omicron mutations. If this isn’t gain-of-function work, then nothing is. Ronald B. Corley knows this, as does everybody else at NEIDL. They just don’t care, and they’ll say anything to the press and grantmakers and regulators while continuing to tinker with viruses as they see fit, because tinkering with viruses is how they secure academic appointments and promotions and earn the regard of their colleagues.
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