News & Perspective

Mar 26, 2012

Mar 26, 2012

Fouchier anticipates resuming H5N1 studies soon

(CIDRAP News) – The lead researcher of one of the controversial H5N1 avian influenza transmission studies in ferrets said today that he hopes scientists can resume work on the studies in about 2 weeks, after key groups have discussed the issues.

Mar 12, 2012

Mar 12, 2012

Dutch export rules could block publication of Fouchier H5N1 study

(CIDRAP News) – In a new twist in the ongoing controversy over publication of two studies involving H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, there are indications that the Dutch government may consider using export regulations to prevent full publication of the study by Ron Fouchier, PhD, and colleagues.

Mar 06, 2012

Mar 06, 2012

Research on contagious H5N1 viruses: Space suits needed?

(CIDRAP News) – Using the highest level of safety precautions for research on H5N1 viruses that can spread in mammals may slow the advance of science, but it's worth it in view of the grave risks involved, say some commentators writing today in mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

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 29, 2012

Feb 29, 2012

With new data, NSABB may revisit H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The mutant H5N1 virus generated in one of two controversial studies was less lethal and contagious than has been generally understood, and the US government's biosecurity advisory committee will be asked to examine new and clarified data from the study, scientists and government officials revealed today.

Feb 24, 2012

Feb 24, 2012

Debate on H5N1 death rate and missed cases continues

(CIDRAP News) – Two leading voices on the potential threat of lab-modified H5N1 viruses laid out their arguments about the human H5N1 fatality rate and undetected cases today and yesterday, with one group claiming "millions" likely have been infected and the other group saying current World Health Organization (WHO) fatality-rate estimates are about right.

Feb 22, 2012

Feb 22, 2012

Nature calls for publishing full H5N1 studies, pending safety review

(CIDRAP News) – Pending the outcome of a review of lab safety issues, two disputed studies involving H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility in mammals should be published in full, the editors of Nature say in an editorial published today.

The editors assert that the human health risks of not publishing the full papers seem greater than the biosecurity risks posed by publishing them.

Feb 21, 2012

Feb 21, 2012

Biosecurity panel chief voices mixed reaction to WHO meeting

(CIDRAP News) – The chair of the US biosecurity advisory board that recommended withholding details of two studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility today expressed a mixed reaction to last week's international meeting in which scientists and officials involved in the controversy called for eventually publishing the full studies.

Feb 17, 2012

Feb 17, 2012

WHO H5N1 study group extends moratorium, calls for full publication

(CIDRAP News) – Flu and public health experts meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO) on issues surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies today agreed on a plan to extend a voluntary research moratorium but publish the full results at a later date.

The temporary moratorium applies to new lab-modified H5N1 viruses, though the group agreed the research on naturally occurring H5N1 viruses must continue to protect public health.

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