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 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

WHO hopes for meeting on dual-use research in late fall

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) hopes to hold a meeting late this fall to discuss "dual-use" research issues raised in the controversy over publication of two studies involving lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, a WHO official said today.

May 04, 2012

May 04, 2012

NIH rejects charge it slanted the H5N1 agenda for NSABB

(CIDRAP News) – In a lengthy letter, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official has rejected recent charges that the agency planned a biased meeting agenda in an effort to induce the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to act as it did in voting for full publication of two much-debated studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility.

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.

May 01, 2012

May 01, 2012

NIH preparing tool to help labs cope with new DURC policy

(CIDRAP News) – Federal officials are working on guidance to help local institutions implement the government's new policy on the oversight of life-sciences dual-use research of concern (DURC), an official from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said today.

Apr 27, 2012

Apr 27, 2012

Dutch officials approve publication of Fouchier's H5N1 study

(CIDRAP News) – The Dutch government has granted virologist Ron Fouchier, PhD, an export license that allows him to submit his much-debated H5N1 transmissibility paper to Science, according to a ScienceInsider report published today.

"Now we can move on," Fouchier told ScienceInsider.

Apr 26, 2012

Apr 26, 2012

Senate committee seeks answers in H5N1 study debate

(CIDRAP News) – Spurred by events surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies, a US Senate committee today questioned federal officials whose agencies have a stake in dual-use research of concern (DURC) about the procedures they use to spot possible bioterror threats.

Apr 20, 2012

Apr 20, 2012

NIH endorses recommendation to publish H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has endorsed the recommendations of its biosecurity advisory committee to publish the full versions of two studies describing lab-modified, mammalian-transmissible H5N1 flu viruses, NIH officials announced today.

Apr 17, 2012

Apr 17, 2012

Fouchier plans to flout Dutch export law, publish H5N1 study

(CIDRAP News) – Dutch flu researcher Ron Fouchier, PhD, said he intends to submit a revised manuscript of his controversial mutated-H5N1 study to Science without applying for an export permit, according to a Nature News story today.

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