Gain-of-function research is a technique used in virology and genetics to alter the function of a virus, in order to better understand its evolution. However, some claims have been made that engineering a virus is too dangerous to justify this type of research.
Cosmos spoke to two virus researchers, Associate Professor Michael Beard, Head of the Viral Pathogenesis Research Laboratory at the University of Adelaide, and Dr Nicholas Eyre, a Molecular virologist at Flinders University, about how this research is used and what can be gained from it.
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Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.
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