Now They’ve Done It: Science Journal Publishes Deadly Lab-Made Genetically Modified Bird Flu Formula That ‘Could Cause Global Pandemic’

Sunday, May 6, 2012
By Paul Martin

It’s out there: Science journal publishes details of deadly lab-made bird flu that ‘could cause global pandemic’

Scientists argue publication will help find cure
Mutant lab-created version can be spread easily among ferrets
Not clear whether ‘new’ versions of flu would have same effect in humans

3 May 2012

The science journal Nature has published the first of two controversial papers about laboratory-enhanced versions of the deadly bird flu virus – described by some as a ‘recipe’ for a bioterror attack.
The virus sparked fears among U.S. biosecurity experts that it could be used as a recipe for a bioterrorist attack.
Bird flu is lethal in humans, but in its natural form, is unable to be spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing.
The publication of the paper by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on Wednesday follows months of debate.
Experts battled over the need for science to be free of censorship against the obligation to protect the public from a potentially devastating flu pandemic.
Bird flu is lethal in people and spreads among those who are in close contact with infected birds, but so far, the virus known as H5N1 has not had the ability to pass easily among humans through sneezing and coughing, and some scientists had begun to doubt that that was possible.
The studies by Kawaoka and Dr. Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical College in the Netherlands changed that view by proving that with a few genetic mutations, the virus could pass easily among ferrets, which are used as a close approximation of how a virus might behave in people.

The Rest…HERE

Leave a Reply