View Poll Results: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

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Thread: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    This is true. I'm not opposed to destroying the samples. I just don't think either government is going to comply.

  2. #12
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    I say destroy the samples. As long as they have the genome they can recreate it. So why waste money and the risk storing it?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  3. #13
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Keep it, but under high security.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  4. #14
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Korimir View Post
    Does anyone really think the US and Russia are going to dispose of valuable weaponry just because the rest of the world tells them to?
    It's my understanding that the CDC and its Russian equivalent both have an agreement with the World Health Organization, under which the government facilities are responsible for providing security but the WHO "owns" the viruses and is authorized to make the call regarding what will happen to them. But I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-18-11 at 04:06 PM.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Yes, they should be destroyed. I can think of no good reason to keep them.

    Viruses mutate extremely rapidly, so even if it did return somehow, there is no guarantee that the samples kept in those labs would be helpful in fighting the outbreak. It would be more useful to use more recent samples from victims.
    Since the genome is sequenced, it's possible to recreate it if necessary.

    The risk of it getting out is simply too high. And besides, there are probably better candidates for biological weapons out there anyway.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    If it is something that can be reproduced... what would be the purpose or the need for keeping it???? Is there one?

  7. #17
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    I don't trust the WHO, they aren't scientific and serve only political interests. Whatever they decide just do the opposite
    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. -Socrates
    Tired of elections being between the lesser of two evils.

  8. #18
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaBrat View Post
    If it is something that can be reproduced... what would be the purpose or the need for keeping it???? Is there one?
    Variola, commonly known as Smallpox, is an incredibly old, and lethal virus that has haunted mankind for centuries, one of the scariest things about it is, while it isn't quite as lethal as, say, Ebola, it's much more contagious. Also, unlike many viruses, smallpox only infects humans. Due to the combined efforts of the WHO, the United States, and Russia, this virus no longer exists in nature. The last recorded case was sometime in the late 70's. In most cases, I advocate for the preservation of the natural world, however, I think it would be a perfectly excellent idea to wipe this thing off the face of the earth.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    I don't trust the WHO, they aren't scientific and serve only political interests. Whatever they decide just do the opposite
    Huh? Who's political interests do you think they serve? The WHO is widely regarded as one of the most effective international institutions in existence. I've never even heard allegations that they put politics ahead of science; do you have an example?

    Certainly they're a lot less political than the custodians of the smallpox virus: the US and Russian governments...
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-19-11 at 12:40 AM.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Should the last smallpox viruses be destroyed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Huh? What makes you say that? I've never even heard allegations that they put politics ahead of science; do you have an example?
    It's not peer reviewed, and many times when scientists want to see their data and methods for findings they will not report it.
    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. -Socrates
    Tired of elections being between the lesser of two evils.

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