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I was thinking about viral gain of function research -- and firebugs playing with matches -- when it hit me: if a highly contagious, but harmless version were engineered it could outcompete more dangerous ones and inoculate large groups. Also, it would presumably be effective as a nasal spray.

Given how commonplace gain of function studies are, why is transmissible vaccination -- arguably loss of function research -- not an equally active field of research?

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