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.