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 03, 2012

May 03, 2012

Report details changes that may boost H5N1 spread in mammals

(CIDRAP News) – The first of two controversial H5N1 avian influenza studies to see print suggests that just four mutations in one of the virus's surface proteins may be enough to equip it to spread among mammals, but the findings are freighted with qualifiers.

Apr 16, 2012

Apr 16, 2012

NSABB wants clarifications in Fouchier's H5N1 manuscript

(CIDRAP News) – The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) says in a new report that one of two controversial H5N1 avian flu studies needs some clarifications before publication and that some additional information the board heard from the lead author should not be included in the paper.

Apr 02, 2012

Apr 02, 2012

Major players weigh implications of NSABB H5N1 reversal

(CIDRAP News) – A federal advisory board's reversal on publishing two controversial H5N1 studies is poised to shift discussions on the topic that continue in London this week, as more participants in the debate weigh in following the Mar 30 announcement.

Mar 05, 2012

Mar 05, 2012

Details of H5N1 study spark queries from congressman, experts

(CIDRAP News) – A US congressman has stepped into the debate over two controversial H5N1 transmission studies, asking President Obama's science office why a federal advisory board didn't consider dual-use issues until after the experiments were completed and what safeguards are in place.

Feb 22, 2012

Feb 22, 2012

Nature calls for publishing full H5N1 studies, pending safety review

(CIDRAP News) – Pending the outcome of a review of lab safety issues, two disputed studies involving H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility in mammals should be published in full, the editors of Nature say in an editorial published today.

The editors assert that the human health risks of not publishing the full papers seem greater than the biosecurity risks posed by publishing them.

Feb 17, 2012

Feb 17, 2012

WHO H5N1 study group extends moratorium, calls for full publication

(CIDRAP News) – Flu and public health experts meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO) on issues surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies today agreed on a plan to extend a voluntary research moratorium but publish the full results at a later date.

The temporary moratorium applies to new lab-modified H5N1 viruses, though the group agreed the research on naturally occurring H5N1 viruses must continue to protect public health.

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