(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) – Participants in a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting held in February agreed that a binding global agreement to govern potentially dangerous life-sciences research is unlikely, but global guidance on the thorny issue could help nations figure out their own policies, according to a WHO report of the meeting.
(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) – Federal officials announced two new policy steps today designed to guide how they and US labs address dual-use research on dangerous pathogens, especially experiments involving aerosol H5N1 avian flu transmission.
(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) – As a meeting to discuss issues related to federally funded H5N1 avian influenza research wrapped up today, experts anticipated that a voluntary moratorium on work with lab-modified strains that have increased transmissibility might end soon and said they sensed agreement about lab biosecurity levels.
(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.