(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.
(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.
(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).
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.