The Guardian reports today it obtained a (consciously modified) sequence of the deadly smallpox virus over the Internet.
“Revealed: the lax laws that could allow assembly of deadly virus DNA“.
It paid just 40 pounds (some US$80) for it. The paper states that some well-funded and organized individuals, with access to PhD-level personnel may build a virus from scratch using DNA sequences. If the smallpox virus (which is extinct, except for labs) infected only 10 persons, it would spread to 2.2 million people in 180 days, the newspaper reports. This calls for urgent, regulatory and international laws.