Gain of function

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Gain of function (GoF) research is when scientists in a laboratory purposefully cause mutations that give viruses new abilities, such as transmissibility from animals to humans.


The SARS-CoV-2 virus did not occur in nature.[1] Its genome was "inconsistent with evolutionary theory."[2] On January 9, 2017, the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy restored funding for gain-of-function research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for research on the bat coronavirus to make the virus transmissible to humans.[3][4] The funds were administered by Dr. Anthony Fauci,[5] the chief medical advisor to the president.[6] Fauci extended the funds,[7] but did not gain approval from a mandatory Department of Health and Human Services review board as required first.[8]