- November 8, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Gain-of-function research to know whether novel coronavirus come from a lab
- Gain-of-function research (GoF research or GoFR) is medical research that genetically alters an organism in a way that may enhance the biological functions of gene products.
- Gain-of-function research refers to the serial passaging of microorganisms to increase their transmissibility, virulence, immunogenicity, and host tropism by applying selective pressure to a culture.
- This research is intended to reveal targets to better predict emerging infectious diseases and to develop vaccines and therapeutics.
- In virology, gain-of-function research is usually employed with the intention of better understanding current and future pandemics.
- The term first gained a wide public audience in 2012, after two groups revealed that they had tweaked an avian influenza virus, using genetic engineering and directed evolution, until it could be transmitted between ferrets.
- A complementary approach — loss-of-function — involves disabling a gene to see what happens to organisms that lack it.
- Most virologists say that the coronavirus probably emerged from repeated contact between humans and animals, potentially in connection with wet markets in Wuhan, China, where the virus was first reported.