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Farewell to smallpox virus?

Oberste oberste at fcs260c.ncifcrf.gov
Mon Aug 23 12:53:11 EST 1993

In article <CC2qIB.4vI at ncifcrf.gov> masuda at fcs280b.ncifcrf.gov (Michiaki Masuda) writes:
>   I heard that at ICV, there was a debate concerning the US government policy
>to collect and destruct all the smallpox virus stocks in the world. Actually,
>the decision seems to have been already made, and unless there is a strong
>claim against this policy from someone, there will be no smallpox virion
>on this planet after Dec. 31 this year.

The complete variola sequence was also presented by Rob Massung (a friend
from grad school) at ASV in July. Apparently, it has been decided that
variola is just too dangerous to keep around. There have already been several
cases from laboratory accidents. Let's face it, the current AIDS epidemic
pales in comparison to the many smallpox epidemics of the past. 

On the other hand, the sequencing clones still exist and could be used for 
probes, etc.

Rob is at CDC in Atlanta and has email, but I don't have his address handy.

BTW, Rob showed a mind-boggling slide of the variola transcription map 
(yep, the whole map one slide).


Steve Oberste                            Internet: oberste at ncifcrf.gov
PO Box B                        "Never put off until tomorrow that which
Frederick, MD 21702-1201            you can do the day after tomorrow"

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