News & Perspective

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.

Jun 21, 2012

DURC policy in flux in the wake of published H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – Though today's publication of the second of two H5N1 transmissibility papers ends a waiting period, it doesn't halt the uncertainty over what the 8 months of controversy means for future dual-use research of concern (DURC) and the status of a voluntary moratorium.

May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

WHO hopes for meeting on dual-use research in late fall

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) hopes to hold a meeting late this fall to discuss "dual-use" research issues raised in the controversy over publication of two studies involving lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, a WHO official said today.

May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012

House bill calls for White House biodefense advisor

(CIDRAP News) – A bill headed for the floor of the US House calls for appointing a special White House advisor to lead and coordinate biodefense activities, including developing a national biodefense plan and a biosurveillance strategy.

May 04, 2012

May 04, 2012

NIH rejects charge it slanted the H5N1 agenda for NSABB

(CIDRAP News) – In a lengthy letter, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official has rejected recent charges that the agency planned a biased meeting agenda in an effort to induce the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to act as it did in voting for full publication of two much-debated studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility.

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 26, 2012

Apr 26, 2012

Senate committee seeks answers in H5N1 study debate

(CIDRAP News) – Spurred by events surrounding two controversial H5N1 transmission studies, a US Senate committee today questioned federal officials whose agencies have a stake in dual-use research of concern (DURC) about the procedures they use to spot possible bioterror threats.

Apr 17, 2012

Apr 17, 2012

Fouchier plans to flout Dutch export law, publish H5N1 study

(CIDRAP News) – Dutch flu researcher Ron Fouchier, PhD, said he intends to submit a revised manuscript of his controversial mutated-H5N1 study to Science without applying for an export permit, according to a Nature News story today.

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