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Taking a single gene from the virus stops it replicating, US scientists wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
Ebola, currently handled in highly secure labs, kills up to 80% of those it infects.
However, one expert said the new method may not yet be a fail-safe way of dealing with the virus.
Professor Susan Fisher-Hoch, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
She said that she would need to see more proof that the modified virus could do no harm.