(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 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) – The controversy over research about potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses heated up last night in a New York City debate that featured some of the leading voices exchanging blunt comments on the alleged risks and benefits of publishing or withholding the full details of the studies.
(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) – In the history of infectious diseases, coincidence plays an extraordinary role. In 1706, Cotton Mather purchased a slave named Onesimus who happened to come from a tribe that practiced variolation, and so smallpox prevention was introduced to North America.
(CIDRAP News) In announcing his resignation today after 4 years as US Health and Human services (HHS) secretary, Tommy G. Thompson cited pandemic influenza and food biosecurity as two of his biggest worries.
Thompson, who presided over massive increases in federal spending for public health preparedness and biodefense research, said in response to a question, "There are two things that really worry me yet. The big one is pandemic flu."