Gain-of-function experiments aim to increase the transmissibility and virulence of existing viruses, making them deadlier for humans. The stated purpose is to better understand pathogens and to develop vaccines for possible future pandemics. Critics say this type of research is extremely dangerous and should be banned or regulated. They claim it has not prevented any pandemics to date, and that the COVID-19 outbreak might be the result of an accidental release from a lab that was conducting gain-of-function research.
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