(CIDRAP News) – A presidential bioethics commission asked to study whether anthrax vaccine trials should be conducted in children before an event occurs released its assessment today, spelling out several steps that would need to be taken before research could proceed.
(CIDRAP News) – A year-long voluntary moratorium on research involving transmissible H5N1 avian flu viruses ended today with a letter from a group of scientists that supports resuming the work in countries that have addressed the biosafety issues involved.
(CIDRAP News) – A new report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a few predictions on when certain new countermeasures against biological threats will become available, including a forecast for two novel influenza drugs and possibly a next-generation anthrax vaccine within the next 5 years.
Disclosure: The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, has produced training programs and materials for the BioWatch program. The news team has no involvement in the center's BioWatch work.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) – The head of the US agency that funds much influenza research today called on scientists to continue their voluntary moratorium on certain kinds of potentially hazardous H5N1 research, saying they need to better address public concerns about the studies, according to news reports from a flu meeting in New York City.
(CIDRAP News) – As leading influenza researchers prepare to meet in New York City next week, several eminent life-sciences authorities are calling for continuation of a moratorium on studies involving lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, according to a story today in the British newspaper The Independent.
(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered some brief, general guidance on safety and security in research on laboratory-modified H5N1 viruses, mainly stressing that researchers should follow existing guidelines and gain authorization from their governments.
(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.