The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced today that the U.S. government will undertake a deliberative process to assess the risks and benefits of certain gain-of-function (GOF) experiments with influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses in order to develop a new Federal policy regarding the funding of this research. During this deliberative process, U.S. government agencies will institute a pause on the funding of any new studies involving these experiments. For purposes of the deliberative process and this funding pause, “GOF studies” refers to scientific research that increases the ability of any of these infectious agents to cause disease by enhancing its pathogenicity or by increasing its transmissibility among mammals by respiratory droplets.
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