In my world, a mad scientist wanted to end humanity and he was looking for something with a high mortality rate. He found Ebola. But it's not airborne though.

Could it be possible to genetically engineer it to be airborne and if so how he could achieve it?

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    $\begingroup$ "Could it be possible?" Yes. "How?" Using the appropriate means. He is well-versed in genetic engineering, isn't he? See genetically modified virus on Wikipedia, or the U.S. Government's brochure on Genetically Engineered Pathogens (2019) (link goes to Amazon). $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 9 at 12:57

Though there has been worries about airborne Ebola arising through natural mutation, this seems very unlikely.

You, however, ask about whether it would be possible to engineer an airborne version of Ebola, and this could very well be the case. It is difficult to state for sure if it is possible until it is attempted, but such a thing has been done with bird flu, which otherwise only infects on contact. It is however important to note that virusses are different and what is possible for one species might not be possible for another.

For purposes of fiction, it would certainly be eminently plausible, which is probably enough.


Maybe not Ebola its self, but it might be able to hitch-hike on something else, bacteria, fungi, or bats. Though bats are more of a distribution vector the other two could have their own synergy with Ebola.

There's a theory that metamorphosing insects are actually from two different species that hand off the body at reproduction age. So, maybe another virus is "hidden" or available or merge-able in/with Ebola wherein it pops out like a jack-in-the-box.


  • $\begingroup$ It’s worth noting that Williamson’s theories on metamorphosis have been thoroughly debunked by a variety of sources and qualifications, though this is irrelevant to intelligently designed organisms $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Apr 10 at 2:33

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