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‘Nearer the Bench Than the Beltway’: an Appeal for Thoughtful Regulation of Infectious Disease Research

COVID-19 has killed close to 5 million people worldwide, and the crisis has given rise to uncertainties about both the origins of the virus and how to respond to future pandemics. Much of the uncertainty swirls around responsibility and risk: How should scientists conduct infectious disease research now? Experts in a range of disciplines including political science, arms control, and biology have called for tighter regulation of the enterprise, with some calling for an end to certain areas—like “gain of function” investigations—altogether.

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