(CIDRAP News) – The battle over dissemination of controversial research on mutant H5N1 avian influenza viruses continued in a flurry of commentaries and media letters in recent days, covering the full range of issues from the potential public health benefits to scientific censorship and the risk of bioterrorist exploitation of the findings.
(CIDRAP News) – Breaking a prolonged silence, the author of one of two controversial studies dealing with mutant H5N1 viruses said today that the virus his team created went airborne to spread among ferrets, but it didn't kill them.
(CIDRAP News) – More experts weighed in recently on various aspects of yet-unpublished H5N1 avian influenza transmissibility studies that have raised concerns about the risk of an intentional or accidental release of the mutant pathogens, as well as worries about scientific censorship.
(CIDRAP News) – Eighteen virologists have sent a letter to the US government's dual-use research advisory board, asking members to reconsider their recommendation that two research groups redact key details about their studies on mutated H5N1 viruses.
(CIDRAP News) – Leading influenza researchers from around the world, faced with a relentless controversy over experiments dealing with potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses, today announced a 60-day pause in such research to allow time to discuss its risks, benefits, and oversight.
(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official said the agency will play a role in leading discussions on issues related to controversial H5N1 avian influenza transmission studies, as more experts called for a further global discussion of the issues.
(CIDRAP News) In the influenza literature, it's a given that ferrets are the best animal model for influenza in humans. They show similar clinical signs of disease, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing, and flu viruses that spread among humans usually spread in ferrets as well.
(CIDRAP News) In an unprecedented move, the US government, following an advisory panel's advice, has asked the journals Science and Nature to omit key details of two studies on the transmissibility of dangerous mutant strains of H5N1 influenza viruses in ferrets on grounds that the information could be misused by bioterrorists.