(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.
(CIDRAP News) – The battle over dissemination of controversial research on mutant H5N1 avian influenza viruses continued in a flurry of commentaries and media letters in recent days, covering the full range of issues from the potential public health benefits to scientific censorship and the risk of bioterrorist exploitation of the findings.
(CIDRAP News) – Leading influenza researchers from around the world, faced with a relentless controversy over experiments dealing with potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses, today announced a 60-day pause in such research to allow time to discuss its risks, benefits, and oversight.
(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official said the agency will play a role in leading discussions on issues related to controversial H5N1 avian influenza transmission studies, as more experts called for a further global discussion of the issues.
(CIDRAP News) – In the film "Contagion," opening in theaters today, a respiratory virus from Malaysia makes its way from bats to humans, spreading quickly around the world and killing a high proportion of those infected. It's clearly an extreme scenario, but not an impossible one, say experts who have seen the movie.
(CIDRAP News) A trio of vaccine researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says influenza A/H2N2 viruses, the subtype that caused the flu pandemic of 1957-58, could return and trigger a pandemic in much the same way the H1N1 subtype did in 2009.