Thursday, December 22, 2011

UPDATE: Dutch Scientists Agree to Redact Details of Super-lethal (50% Kill Rate) Genetically Modified Bird Flu

Following up on Nov. 27th's "Dutch Scientists Have Genetically Altered the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus to Make it More Contagious" (could kill half humanity)".

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science' ScienceInsider:
Grudgingly, Virologists Agree to Redact Details in Sensitive Flu Papers
Two groups of scientists who carried out highly controversial studies with the avian influenza virus H5N1 have reluctantly agreed to strike certain details from manuscripts describing their work after having been asked to do so by a U.S. biosecurity council. The as-yet unpublished papers, which are under review at Nature and Science, will be changed to minimize the risks that they could be misused by would-be bioterrorists.

But the stricken details may still be made available to influenza scientists who have a legitimate interest in knowing them under a new system the journals and U.S. government officials have been actively debating for some time.

The two papers have both been reviewed at length by the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSSAB), and both have been the subject of intense global media attention the past 2 months. They have also triggered debates among scientists, security experts, and officials within various branches of the U.S. government.

The studies show how certain mutations in H5N1's genome can make the virus more easily transmissible among ferrets, flu scientists' preferred animal model—and thus, also more dangerous to humans. An H5N1 strain that transmits well between people could trigger an influenza pandemic with potentially millions of casualties, scientists fear....MORE