Gain-of-Function Research means artificially accelerating the evolution of a virus to study and help us better prepare for a viral outbreak. This controversial research has slowly become the topic of debate, especially after the recent Pandemic we all endured.
Could Gain-of-Function research give domestic malevolent forces the potential to have access to these contagions? Could outsourcing Gain-of-Function research to international labs give foreign enemies information that could lead to the destruction America, or even potentially the human race? Unfortunately, these fictional nightmares have become a modern liability.
Gain-of-Function research is a privately funded and privately controlled. This means that many different scientists – specific people – are allowed to experiment on making viruses deadlier. The entire human race must trust the safety measures and informational discretion of private investors, who fund this research for profit.
Scientifically, there is a vital necessity to stay on top of the potential evolution of viruses, and knowing how to combat them. However, this also poses an opportunity for malevolent forces.
Additionally, outsourced international Gain-of-Function research can provide international rivals access to information that could lead to the destruction of America. Hypothetically speaking, if another country who did not have our nations best interests at heart, obtained (had access to) classified information, such as the cure for a deadly virus, they could send America to a devastating demise.
Was COVID-19 artificially created through Gain-of-Function research? Could Gain-of-Function research have helped if it was naturally occurring? This makes it such a controversial discussion. Viral mutations are always occurring naturally, and understanding that change is important to continue our species, and prepare for the future of our immunity.
If we have learned anything from this COVID-19 Pandemic, it is that we are initially defenseless against newly formed viruses, and susceptible to its collateral damage political fallout. Natural viral evolution is an additional threat, however Gain-of-Function research propagates the potential for a viral outbreak on a massive level.
The Solution, could be limited and controlled Gain-of-Function research could be executed in Space by people who were not planning on returning to Earth during the experiment. Another alternative could be an underwater (or even underground) research facility. Arguably, Space would be the best option, however the cost of Gain-of-Function research would increase.
The best solution however, may be to simply end Gain-of-Function research permanently. We may not need to create every possible form of infectious viruses. This will not only eliminate the potential for a lab leak, but it will also prevent malicious forces and foreign enemies from attaining the blueprints to end civilization as we know it. As this research advances, it will become easier to obtain equipment, and knowledge to manipulate viruses, should malevolent forces (such as suicide terrorists) have interest in biological-warfare.
Whether or not you support Gain-of-Function research does not change the fact that it exists and is currently being privately run internationally around the world. This increases the chances of another Pandemic, while also providing some hope to prevent another one. At the end of the day America can only hope the people executing and funding Gain-of-Function research have the interests of the human race at a higher value than financial gain.