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    Etc.: Steven Salzberg: 'What were they thinking?'
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Wednesday, November 02, 2022


    Johns Hopkins computational biologist and 2013 Franklin Award laureate Steven Salzberg says controversial Boston University study that created a potentially deadly form of the omicron coronavirus variant should never have happened.


    The BU study took part of one virus, omicron, and part of another virus – what they were calling the Washington State virus, but think of it as the original strain that came to the U.S. from Wuhan, China, in early 2020. They took a very small part of the genome of omicron virus – the spike protein, which lets the virus break into the host cells – and combined it with the rest of the genome from the Washington State virus, which they called the backbone. And they said, "Let's see what happens!" And that's where people like me say, "What the heck are you thinking?"
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