News & Perspective

Jun 21, 2012

Jun 21, 2012

Fouchier study reveals changes enabling airborne spread of H5N1

(CIDRAP News) – A study showing that it takes as few as five mutations to turn the H5N1 avian influenza virus into an airborne spreader in mammals—and that launched a historic debate on scientific accountability and transparency—was released today in Science, spilling the full experimental details that many experts had sought to suppress out of concern that publishing them could lead to the unleashing of a dangerous virus.

May 04, 2012

May 04, 2012

NIH rejects charge it slanted the H5N1 agenda for NSABB

(CIDRAP News) – In a lengthy letter, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official has rejected recent charges that the agency planned a biased meeting agenda in an effort to induce the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to act as it did in voting for full publication of two much-debated studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility.

Apr 26, 2012

Apr 26, 2012

Senate committee seeks answers in H5N1 study debate

(CIDRAP News) – Spurred by events surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies, a US Senate committee today questioned federal officials whose agencies have a stake in dual-use research of concern (DURC) about the procedures they use to spot possible bioterror threats.

Apr 20, 2012

Apr 20, 2012

NIH endorses recommendation to publish H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has endorsed the recommendations of its biosecurity advisory committee to publish the full versions of two studies describing lab-modified, mammalian-transmissible H5N1 flu viruses, NIH officials announced today.

Apr 13, 2012

Apr 13, 2012

NSABB member says officials stacked deck for board's H5N1 decision

(CIDRAP News) – In a leaked letter, a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has charged that federal officials planned the board's meeting in late March in a way designed to lead the board to reverse its earlier recommendation against full publication of two studies describing lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility in mammals.

Mar 28, 2012

Mar 28, 2012

Scientists volley ahead of more dual-use H5N1 debate

(CIDRAP News) – As researchers from both sides of the debate over two controversial H5N1 studies weighed in yesterday on full publication versus a more cautionary approach, two US journals said they are developing policies to address any future such instances.

Mar 01, 2012

Mar 01, 2012

Another study shows limited flu vaccine benefits in seniors

(CIDRAP News) – A study published this week adds another to a short list of recent investigations suggesting that standard influenza vaccines yield only modest reductions in the risk of hospitalization or death in elderly people.

Feb 29, 2012

Feb 29, 2012

With new data, NSABB may revisit H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The mutant H5N1 virus generated in one of two controversial studies was less lethal and contagious than has been generally understood, and the US government's biosecurity advisory committee will be asked to examine new and clarified data from the study, scientists and government officials revealed today.

Feb 24, 2012

Feb 24, 2012

Debate on H5N1 death rate and missed cases continues

(CIDRAP News) – Two leading voices on the potential threat of lab-modified H5N1 viruses laid out their arguments about the human H5N1 fatality rate and undetected cases today and yesterday, with one group claiming "millions" likely have been infected and the other group saying current World Health Organization (WHO) fatality-rate estimates are about right.

Feb 03, 2012

Feb 03, 2012

Live debate airs major divisions in H5N1 research battle

(CIDRAP News) – The controversy over research about potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses heated up last night in a New York City debate that featured some of the leading voices exchanging blunt comments on the alleged risks and benefits of publishing or withholding the full details of the studies.

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