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.

Jan 20, 2012

Jan 20, 2012

US virologists ask NSABB to reconsider H5N1 decision

(CIDRAP News) – Eighteen virologists have sent a letter to the US government's dual-use research advisory board, asking members to reconsider their recommendation that two research groups redact key details about their studies on mutated H5N1 viruses.

Jan 23, 2012

Jan 23, 2012

Experts debate aspects of H5N1 transmission studies

(CIDRAP News) – More experts weighed in recently on various aspects of yet-unpublished H5N1 avian influenza transmissibility studies that have raised concerns about the risk of an intentional or accidental release of the mutant pathogens, as well as worries about scientific censorship.

Jan 31, 2012

Jan 31, 2012

Experts continue to clash over NSABB recommendation

(CIDRAP News) – As more details emerged today on an advisory group's recommendation for scientific journals to withhold key details of H5N1 transmission studies, another round of discussion on both sides of the controversy played out today on the pages of a major microbiology journal.

Jan 31, 2012

NSABB: Studies show how H5N1 can jump natural barrier

(CIDRAP News) – The core of a US biosecurity advisory board's concern about two controversial, as-yet-unpublished studies on H5N1 viruses is that the studies have shown how to remove the apparent natural barrier that keeps the viruses from spreading efficiently in mammals, members of the board said in statements published today.

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.

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.

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