News of the WeekVirology

Active Poliovirus Baked From Scratch

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Science  12 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5579, pp. 174-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5579.174b

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With mail-order DNA and more than 2 years of painstaking work, researchers for the first time have assembled a virus from its chemical code. The lab-built poliovirus, described online this week by Science, killed mice and was almost indistinguishable from the original. Biologists disagree on how difficult it would be to construct far bulkier viruses such as smallpox to create bioweapons.