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Unformatted text preview: years - theoretically, it could happen tomorrow. The shock of the AIDS epidemic has prompted virus experts to admit "that
something new is indeed happening and that the threat of a deadly viral outbreak is imminent", said Joshua Lederberg of the Rockefeller
University in New York, at a recent conference. He added that the problem was "very serious and is getting worse". Dr Ben-Abraham said:
"Nature isn't benign. The survival of the human species is not a preordained evolutionary programme. Abundant sources of genetic
variation exist for viruses to learn how to mutate and evade the immune system." He cites the 1968 Hong Kong flu outbreak
as an example of how viruses have outsmarted human intelligence. And as new "mega-cities" are being developed in the Third World and
rainforests are destroyed, disease-carrying animals and insects are forced into areas of human habitation. "This raises the very real possibility that
lethal, mysterious viruses would, for the first time, infect humanity at a large scale and imperil the survival of the...
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