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Biotech Censorship United States Science

Researchers, Biosecurity Board Debate How Open Virus Research Should Be 66

Posted by timothy
from the what-price-progress dept.
New submitter rackeer writes "Exchanging research results is at the heart of the scientific method. However, there are concerns about whether investigations of pandemics, which possibly constitute a threat to the whole population of earth, should be shared. The debate about research on the avian flu was discussed on Slashdot before. Now the main parties have their own two cents to say. On-line at the journal Science are commentaries both by authors of the paper in question, who went ahead with the publication, and by the national advisory board for biosecurity, which advised against publishing."
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Researchers, Biosecurity Board Debate How Open Virus Research Should Be

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:33PM (#39001387) Homepage

    From the Biohazards committee:

    Recently, several scientific research teams have achieved some success in isolating influenza A/H5N1 viruses that are transmitted efficiently between mammals, in one instance with maintenance of high pathogenicity. This information is very important because, before these experiments were done, it was uncertain whether avian influenza A/H5N1 could ever acquire the capacity for mammal-to-mammal transmission. Now that this information is known, society can take steps globally to prepare for when nature might generate such a virus spontaneously.

    The method they used (serial passage) isn't complex. The identification of the hemoglutinin protein as the determinant for increased infectivity is interesting, but not particularly relevant to someone interested in a "12 Monkeys" scenario.

    Too Late.

    We're doomed.

  • by outsider007 (115534) on Friday February 10, 2012 @08:00PM (#39001677)

    That's a lot of o's. Do you find this that funny?

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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