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The two-sided risks of research on viruses

The revival of the "lab leak" theory of COVID-19 — that it started with a virus that originated in a laboratory — is drawing new attention to the dangers of scientific experiments that enhance pathogens to study them.

Why it matters: So-called "gain-of-function" research can be invaluable in predicting future pandemic threats, but it can also generate risks by introducing new, potentially more dangerous viruses.

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