(CIDRAP News) – Chinese scientists report that lab-generated hybrid viruses combining genes from avian H5N1 and pandemic 2009 H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza viruses can achieve airborne spread between guinea pigs, a finding that seems likely to renew the debate about the risks of creating novel viruses that might be able to spark a human pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) – A group of scientists acting under the aegis of a vaccine research advocacy organization has asked President Obama's bioethics committee to evaluate the ethics of experiments designed to increase the transmissibility of H5N1 avian influenza viruses.
(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) – Federal health officials are in the midst of crafting a framework for funding H5N1 avian influenza gain-of-function studies, and today at a workshop they heard varied feedback from researchers, biosecurity experts, and others.
(CIDRAP News) – The moratorium on research leading to more-transmissible H5N1 avian influenza viruses, originally set for 60 days, has remained in place for 8 months without a clear end in sight, but a series of commentaries in mBio today from experts familiar with the issues offers some clues for possible next steps.
(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.