(CIDRAP News) – The members of a new government board that will guide efforts to keep terrorists from exploiting the fruits of federally funded biotechnology research were announced this week by Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
(CIDRAP News) A bipartisan commission of former US government officials , in issuing a report card today on the federal government's progress toward preventing terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction (WMD), gave the nation a C- for its efforts to reduce the threat of bioterrorism.
(CIDRAP News) – A national biosecurity board that monitors "dual use" research is apparently worried about an as-yet-published study in which a mutant form of H5N1 avian influenza virus was found to be easily transmissible in ferrets, which are considered good models for flu in humans.
(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) – 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(CIDRAP News) – More experts weighed in recently on various aspects of yet-unpublished H5N1 avian influenza transmissibility studies that have raised concerns about the risk of an intentional or accidental release of the mutant pathogens, as well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.