The World Health Organization is meeting this week to decide whether or not the last existing smallpox samples - held by a lab in Atlanta and a lab in Novosibirsk - should be destroyed. They're expected to render a decision sometime in the very near future.
The US and Russian governments are bristling at the idea, claiming that it's necessary to keep the disease around in order to deal with a potential outbreak; the smallpox genome HAS been sequenced, which means that it's theoretically possible for it to come back in a couple decades when genetic engineering has improved, even if the samples are destroyed.
Most other nations think that the risks of keeping the virus outweigh the benefits. As long as the virus is kept around, there is an increased chance that it could be reintroduced into the public, accidentally or intentionally.
What do you think? Should the last remaining smallpox viruses be destroyed?