CD258: Gain of Function Research

CD258: Gain of Function Research

Sep 18, 2022

Executive Producers (2): David Kovatch, Brandon Lewis

On August 3rd, Senate Republicans held a hearing examining gain of function research: its possible role in creating the COVID-19 pandemic; the problems with oversight of this dangerous research; and recommendations to Congress for how to fix those problems.

Executive Producers: Dave Kovatch and Brandon Lewis

Episode Transcript

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Background Sources

Gain-of-function Research

Talha Burki. Feb 1, 2018. “Ban on gain-of-function studies ends.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases 18(2): pp 148-149.

“Framework for Guiding Funding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens.” 2017. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Michael J. Selgelid. Aug 8, 2016. “Gain-of-Function Research: Ethical Analysis.” Science and Engineering Ethics 22(4): pp 923-964.

Sara Reardon. October 22, 2014. “US suspends risky disease research.” Nature 514: pp 411-412.

“Doing Diligence to Assess the Risks and Benefits of Life Sciences Gain-of-Function Research.” Oct 17, 2014. The White House Blog.

Board on Life Sciences; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; Policy and Global Affairs; Board on Health Sciences Policy; National Research Council; Institute of Medicine. April 13, 2015. “Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of a Workshop.” National Academies Press.

Marc Lipsitch. Jun 29, 2014. “Anthrax? That’s Not the Real Worry.” The New York Times.

COVID-19 Origin Theories

Gary Ruskin. Sep 14, 2022. “Key articles on origins of Covid-19, gain-of-function research and biolabs.” U.S. Right to Know.

Alina Chan. Jul 30, 2022. “The evidence for a natural vs lab origin of Covid-19.” Medium.

Maria Cheng and Janey Keaten. Jun 9, 2022. “WHO: COVID origins unclear but lab leak theory needs study.” AP News.

“WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO): preliminary report.” Jun 9, 2022. World Health Organization.

Carl Zimmer and James Gorman. Updated Oct 13, 2021. “A Group of Scientists Presses a Case Against the Lab Leak Theory of Covid.” The New York Times.

Richard Muller and Steven Quay. Oct 5, 2021. “Science Closes In on Covid’s Origins.” The Wall Street Journal.

Steven Quay and Richard Muller. Jun 6, 2021. “The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak.” The Wall Street Journal.

“TWiV 762: SARS-CoV-2 origins with Robert Garry.” May 30, 2021. This Week in Virology [Podcast].

Glenn Kessler. May 25, 2021. “Timeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible.” The Washington Post.

Jorge Casesmeiro Roger. Mar 24, 2021. “An Interview with Richard Ebright: The WHO Investigation Members Were ‘participants in disinformation.'” Independent Science News.

Josh Rogin. Mar 8, 2021. “In 2018, Diplomats Warned of Risky Coronavirus Experiments in a Wuhan Lab. No One Listened.” Politico.

Jane Qiu. Jun 1, 2020. “How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus.” Scientific American.

EcoHealth Alliance and Funding for Coronavirus Research

Katherine Eban. March 31, 2022. “‘This Shouldn’t Happen’: Inside the Virus-Hunting Nonprofit at the Center of the Lab-Leak Controversy.” Vanity Fair.

Sharon Lerner and Maia Hibbett. Sep, 23 2021. “Leaked Grant Proposal Details High-Risk Coronavirus Research.” The Intercept.

Glenn Kessler. May 18, 2021. “Fact-checking the Paul-Fauci flap over Wuhan lab funding.” The Washington Post.

Meredith Wadman and Jon Cohen. Apr 30, 2020. “NIH’s axing of bat coronavirus grant a ‘horrible precedent’ and might break rules, critics say.” Science.

National Institutes of Health. May 27, 2014. NIH grant to EcoHealth Alliance for Wuhan research. NIH RePORTER.

NIH Database Data Removal

Amy Dockser Marcus. Jun 23, 2021. “Chinese Covid-19 Gene Data That Could Have Aided Pandemic Research Removed From NIH Database.”

The Hearing

Revisiting Gain of Function Research: What the Pandemic Taught Us and Where Do We Go From Here

August 3, 2022
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight


Richard H. Ebright, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Laboratory Director, Rutgers University Waksman Institute of Microbiology

Steven Quay, CEO and Founder, Atossa Therapeutics, Inc.

Kevin M. Esvelt, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations

Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

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