News & Perspective

Aug 14, 2013

Aug 14, 2013
H5N1 color electron micro

Study: Technique adds 'kill switch' to modified flu viruses

A new molecular strategy could diffuse some of the controversy over lab-modified flu viruses.

Mar 19, 2013

Mar 19, 2013

Bioethics panel sets bar high for medical countermeasure studies in kids

(CIDRAP News) – A presidential bioethics commission asked to study whether anthrax vaccine trials should be conducted in children before an event occurs released its assessment today, spelling out several steps that would need to be taken before research could proceed.

Jan 23, 2013

Jan 23, 2013

Research moratorium on modified H5N1 viruses ends

(CIDRAP News) – A year-long voluntary moratorium on research involving transmissible H5N1 avian flu viruses ended today with a letter from a group of scientists that supports resuming the work in countries that have addressed the biosafety issues involved.

Dec 11, 2012

Dec 11, 2012

HHS offers some forecasts on medical countermeasures

(CIDRAP News) – A new report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a few predictions on when certain new countermeasures against biological threats will become available, including a forecast for two novel influenza drugs and possibly a next-generation anthrax vaccine within the next 5 years.

Sep 13, 2012

Sep 13, 2012

BioWatch program faces GAO, congressional scrutiny

Disclosure: The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, has produced training programs and materials for the BioWatch program. The news team has no involvement in the center's BioWatch work.

Aug 17, 2012

Aug 17, 2012

Public health officials respond to critique of BioWatch

In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.

Jul 31, 2012

Jul 31, 2012

Fauci urges continuing pause on risky H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The head of the US agency that funds much influenza research today called on scientists to continue their voluntary moratorium on certain kinds of potentially hazardous H5N1 research, saying they need to better address public concerns about the studies, according to news reports from a flu meeting in New York City.

Jul 27, 2012

Jul 27, 2012

Experts urge holding off on hazardous H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – As leading influenza researchers prepare to meet in New York City next week, several eminent life-sciences authorities are calling for continuation of a moratorium on studies involving lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, according to a story today in the British newspaper The Independent.

Jul 24, 2012

Jul 24, 2012

WHO offers some guidance on risky H5N1 studies

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered some brief, general guidance on safety and security in research on laboratory-modified H5N1 viruses, mainly stressing that researchers should follow existing guidelines and gain authorization from their governments.

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.

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