News & Perspective

Dec 23, 2011

Dec 23, 2011

Fears about mutant H5N1 hinge on ferrets as flu model

(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.

Dec 20, 2011

Dec 20, 2011

US government urges journals to omit details of two H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – In an unprecedented move, the US government, following an advisory panel's advice, has asked the journals Science and Nature to omit key details of two studies on the transmissibility of dangerous mutant strains of H5N1 influenza viruses in ferrets on grounds that the information could be misused by bioterrorists.

Nov 17, 2011

Nov 17, 2011

H5N1 transmission experiment stirs concern

(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.

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