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, 14 (10), e1007025

Synthetic Horsepox Viruses and the Continuing Debate About Dual Use Research


Synthetic Horsepox Viruses and the Continuing Debate About Dual Use Research

Ryan S Noyce et al. PLoS Pathog.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors are paid consultants for Tonix Pharmaceuticals and are identified as co-inventors on patent applications relating to synthetic poxviruses.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Declining costs of gene synthesis ($US).
All of the data are reproduced from [37] except for the latest data point. The cost of assembling large (>10 kbp) DNA clones is generally higher than shown, due to the additional amounts of labor and the quality control that is required.

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    1. Noyce RS, Lederman S, Evans DH. Construction of an infectious horsepox virus vaccine from chemically synthesized DNA fragments. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(1):e0188453 Epub 2018/01/20. 10.1371/journal.pone.0188453 ; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC5774680. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. DiEuliis D, Berger K, Gronvall G. Biosecurity implications for the synthesis of horsepox, an Orthopoxvirus. Health Secur. 2017;15(6):629–37. Epub 2017/11/02. 10.1089/hs.2017.0081 . - DOI - PubMed
    1. Koblentz GD. The de novo synthesis of horsepox virus: Implications for biosecurity and recommendations for preventing the reemergence of smallpox. Health Secur. 2017;15(6):620–8. Epub 2017/08/25. 10.1089/hs.2017.0061 . - DOI - PubMed
    1. Racaniello V, Despommier D, Dove A, Condit RC, Spindler K. TWiV 478: A pox on your horse [Podcast]. January 28, 2018. Available from: [cited 2018 September 10].
    1. Dual use research of concern in the life sciences: Current issues and controversies Washington, DC: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, National Academies Press; 2017.

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Grant support

The HPXV project is supported by funding from Tonix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Long-term research support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation is also gratefully acknowledged. These funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of this manuscript.