News & Perspective

Jul 24, 2012

Jul 24, 2012

WHO offers some guidance on risky H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered some brief, general guidance on safety and security in research on laboratory-modified H5N1 viruses, mainly stressing that researchers should follow existing guidelines and gain authorization from their governments.

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 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 13, 2012

Apr 13, 2012

NSABB member says officials stacked deck for board's H5N1 decision

(CIDRAP News) – In a leaked letter, a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has charged that federal officials planned the board's meeting in late March in a way designed to lead the board to reverse its earlier recommendation against full publication of two studies describing lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility in mammals.

Mar 29, 2012

Mar 29, 2012

US debuts life sciences dual-use research policy

(CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials today unveiled a new policy for overseeing life sciences dual-use research, such as two recent H5N1 transmission studies that have sparked bioterror concerns as well as cries of censorship.

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 08, 2012

Feb 08, 2012

Experts: Dual-use H5N1 studies may not hasten pandemic response

(CIDRAP News) – International experts say that, while experiments on H5N1 avian flu transmission in mammals are important, publishing full details of such "dual-use" studies likely will not speed up the vaccine response in a pandemic, according to a news report and editorial in Nature today.

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