(NaturalNews) If you've ever seen it, the popular Stephen King mini-series The Stand fictionalizes a post-apocalyptic world in which a man-made plague escapes a government lab and ravages the world, destroying most of the world's population. Well, a real-life plague of this devastating magnitude is now a very real possibility thanks to the machinations of a deranged U.S. scientist out of Wisconsin, who has successfully manufactured a deadly flu strain that completely bypasses the human immune system.
His name is Yoshihiro Kawaoka, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) actually pays him to deconstruct viruses in order to reassemble them into highly lethal strains capable of killing off large numbers of humans. The UK's Independent reports that Dr. Kawaoka has now successfully manipulated the 2009 H1N1 flu strain to evade the human immune system, rendering individuals completely vulnerable to disease and death.
"Kawaoka... has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to 'escape' the control of the immune system's neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence," wrote Steve Connor for The Independent.
Kawaoka deliberately tried to recreate deadly Spanish flu that killed millions
Similar experiments on bird flu and the infamous 1918 Spanish flu have taken place at Dr. Kawaoka's lab in the past, which was constructed with taxpayer dollars to the tune of $12.5 million. Known as the Institute for Influenza Virus Research, the lab was designed with Biosafety Level-3-Agriculture protection, which is one notch below the highest level for the most dangerous known pathogens, such as Ebola virus.
But his latest work took place in the lower biosafety level-2 lab, which many critics say is irresponsible and highly dangerous. Though the stated purpose for such outrageous research is to discover how viruses mutate in order to develop more effective vaccines, the potential for this and other deadly viruses to escape the lab and spread throughout the public is a definite possibility, as demonstrated by the recent anthrax scare at a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab near Atlanta.
"He took the 2009 pandemic flu virus and selected out strains that were not neutralised by human antibodies," stated one unnamed scientist who was present at a recent speech Dr. Kawaoka gave about the project. "He repeated this several times until he got a real humdinger of a virus."
"He's basically got a known pandemic strain that is now resistant to vaccination. Everything he did before was dangerous but this is even madder. This is the virus."
Critics call for Kawaoka's lab to be shut down
Dr. Kawaoka claims that his research is not a threat, and that all of it must first pass through a 17-person biosafety committee before ever taking place. But not everyone on this panel is on board with the program, including Professor Tom Jeffries, a dissenter who claims that he was not even told that Dr. Kawaoka's current work would involve the pandemic H1N1 virus.
"What was present in the research protocols was a very brief outline or abstract of what he was actually doing... [and] there were elements to it that bothered me," stated Jeffries, as quoted by The Independent. "I'm a distinct minority on this committee in raising objections. I'm very uneasy when the work involves increasing transmissibility of what we know already to be very virulent strains."
Remarking on the situation, one outraged Independent commenter used the Latin legal term Hostis humani generis, which in English means "enemy of mankind," to describe Dr. Kawaoka and his work. Others have expressed similar sentiments, urging immediate action to stop such abominations from taking place in the name of science.