News & Perspective

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 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 21, 2012

Feb 21, 2012

Biosecurity panel chief voices mixed reaction to WHO meeting

(CIDRAP News) – The chair of the US biosecurity advisory board that recommended withholding details of two studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility today expressed a mixed reaction to last week's international meeting in which scientists and officials involved in the controversy called for eventually publishing the full studies.

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.

Feb 16, 2012

Feb 16, 2012

Scientists compare dual-use H5N1 and Asilomar meetings

(CIDRAP News) – Some experts involved in the controversy over two H5N1 transmission papers have called the pause in research and discussions over the dual-use nature of the work an "Asilomar moment," referring to a scientific meeting held in the 1970s to discuss the potential dangers of recombinant DNA research.

Feb 15, 2012

Feb 15, 2012

Forum: H5N1 research tussle shows need for clear policies

(CIDRAP News) – The acute need for clearer policies concerning the handling of potentially risky life-sciences research was the main theme that came across today in a Harvard forum on the controversy over studies on H5N1 avian influenza viruses with increased transmissibility.

Feb 14, 2012

Feb 14, 2012

Workshop: National biosurveillance system has long way to go

(CIDRAP News) – The goal of an integrated national biosurveillance system to detect threats to human and animal health, called for in a presidential directive in 2004, is still a long way from reality and faces complex obstacles, according to a workshop summary recently published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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