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Is It Time to Destroy the Last Smallpox Stores?

Scientists and health officials are pretty certain that the smallpox virus exists in only two places in the world: at the CDC in Atlanta and in a government laboratory in Russia. The World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated in 1979, and the two remaining supplies are for research only. This week, the 64th World Health Assembly will take up the question of whether these two stores of the virus should be destroyed.
Now, public health officials are divided on how to ensure that the disease stays eradicated. Some say our best bet is to keep the remaining samples of the virus safe and continue to study them, then destroy them at a later date; others say the safest course is to destroy them now, once and for all.

A list of pros and cons for keeping smallpox around are listed at 80beats. Link -via Carl Zimmer

Cowpox was the original vaccine of sorts for smallpox. After infection with the disease, the body (usually) gains the ability of recognizing the similar smallpox virus from its antigens and so is able to fight the smallpox disease much more efficiently. The vaccinia virus now used for smallpox vaccination is sufficiently different from the cowpox virus found in the wild as to be considered a separate virus. The virus contains one hundred and eighty-six thousand base pairs of DNA, which contains the information for about one hundred and eighty-seven genes. This makes smallpox one of the most complicated viruses known. Some one hundred of these genes give instructions for key parts of the human immune system, giving a clue as to why smallpox is so lethal.[
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We ought to just make a "bacterial artificial chromosome" of the genome like we have for so many other viruses... We can just store the DNA somewhere under deep freeze and destroy the virus samples that are available. The sequence of Small Pox is no secret... If someone was supremely motivated, very patient, and well funded, they could build the thing from scratch if they really wanted. So we might as well keep the DNA around in case there is some need to study the virus again in the future. The virus samples themselves can then be destroyed and the public can relax a bit.
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I read about this 15 years ago. People were quibbling about whether to destroy the last remaining two samples (located in Atlanta GA, and Moscow I believe). Then, after the fall of the Soviet Union, we found out that they had TONS of liquid smallpox virus loaded in warheads, ready for launch to the U.S. I think it's safe to assume there's lots of smallpox hidden away somewhere.
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