For EEMB40: Ecology of Disease class at UC Santa Barbara.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Put to death
The science writer Carl Zimmer addressed the question of whether our stocks of smallpox should be destroyed back in 2011, the last time this decision was made. The decision will be back up for discussion again in 2014 I think. Should Smallpox Be Put To Death?
Should the virus be preserved so that it can be studied? Or should the virus be destroyed, so that—in theory at least—it would become extinct and would not threaten the human species again?
For a lengthier discussion see Smallpox Virus Destruction and the Implications of a New Vaccine by D.A. Henderson, one of the people behind the eradication of smallpox.