What could drive humans to extinction?

What could drive humans to extinction?

Pandemics

Another existential peril that keeps researchers up at night is the abuse of biotechnology. By using biology, this technology creates new goods. Cassidy Nelson is particularly concerned about one of these: the misuse of biotechnology to create harmful, contagious viruses. “There are many distinct pandemic possibilities that frighten me. However, I do believe that the ones that could be created by humans pose maybe the biggest threat from biology this century “She said.

Nelson does research on biosecurity challenges, such as emerging infectious illnesses, pandemics, and biological weapons, at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. She understands that a disease that has been deliberately created to spread quickly and kill many people might do far more harm than a pathogen that naturally occurs and could conceivably wipe out vast portions of Earth’s population in a short period of time. “Nature’s ability to create infections through natural selection is really amazing. The worst part is when it does. However, it lacks this type of overt ‘purpose,’ Nelson said. “If you had a terrible actor who actively sought to build a disease to have as much detrimental influence as possible, by how infectious it was, and how lethal it was, my worry would be,” the author said.

But despite the potential for anxiety, especially in our present pandemic-affected world, she thinks the likelihood that this would happen is remote. (It’s also important to note that all available data indicates that COVID-19 was not produced in a lab.) While the bar for doing so is continually being lowered by scientific and technical developments, she added, “it also means that our skills for doing something about it are gradually growing.” “That gives me optimism the if we could truly handle [it], that risk balance may move in our favor,” the speaker said. The size of the possible threat, though, keeps academics focused on this concern.

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