Just because you can do something, should you?
This is not just a question people should ask themselves as they stare at the last piece of pizza but in many other circumstances as well.
And certain people need to ask it more often – scientists, for example, with the potential power over life or death, and world-changing breakthroughs or devastating disasters.
Like Captain Ahab and his maniacal chase of the white whale Moby Dick, sometimes – quite often, actually – obsessively doing something just because you can and really want to may not be in the best interest of everyone else.
Gain of Function (GOF) research is a perfect example of this problem.
The general definition offered to the public by officials during the pandemic was this: GOF takes a virus and enhances its lethality or transmissibility amongst humans in order to be able to study the resulting bug to speed the search for a potential treatment if and when the virus evolves in nature to the same danger point.
Read more: Is it a Good Idea to Bring Neanderthal Bacteria Back to Life?