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Science

Submission + - Mutant flu resercher risks 6 years in prison for publishing without permission (nature.com)

scibri writes: Ron Fouchier, one of the researchers involved in the controversy over whether to publish research on mutant versions of H5N1 bird flu, has said he plans to submit his paper to Science without applying for an export control license as demanded by the Dutch government.

Failing to get the license means he could face penalties including up to six years in prison.

Whether the paper falls under export-control laws is unclear. The Netherlands implements European Union (EU) legislation on export controls, which require an export permit for ‘dual-use’ materials and information — those that could have both legitimate and malicious uses — including those relating to dangerous pathogens. But the EU law allows an exception for “basic scientific research” that is “not primarily directed towards a specific practical aim or objective”, which Fouchier says should cover his work.

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Mutant flu resercher risks 6 years in prison for publishing without permission

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