Bird flu researchers return to the lab after year-long debate

Posted in Research on January 24th, 2013 by steve

Australia“Controversial research into the H5N1 virus, more commonly known as bird flu, is set to recommence, after it was delayed in 2011 following a request from the US government. The research had raised biosecurity concerns that it could be used in the wrong hands to develop a biological weapon …” (more)

[Charis Palmer, The Conversation, 24 January]


Do not censor science in the name of biosecurity

Posted in Legal issues, Research on June 20th, 2012 by steve

“The recent controversy over research into mutated versions of the H5N1 flu virus has focused on biosecurity concerns. It is easy to get the impression that this debate has created a clear split between a scientific community that wants the research to proceed and the results to be published and a biosecurity community that doesn’t …” (more)

[Tim Trevan, Nature News & Comment, 20 June]


Controversial bird flu research set for publication

Posted in Research on April 2nd, 2012 by steve

“Two controversial research papers into the H5N1 bird flu virus are set to be published in full after US government advisers accepted there was no security risk in making the science public …” (more)

[Nick Collins, Daily Telegraph, 2 April]


New Review Sought For Controversial Bird Flu Research

Posted in Research on February 29th, 2012 by steve

“A scientist who created an easier-to-spread version of the bird flu said his work isn’t as risky as people fear. The US government is asking its biosecurity advisers to reconsider if the research should be made public …” (more)

[Lauran Neergaard, Huffington Post, 29 February]

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Emotion runs high at H5N1 debate

Posted in Research on February 3rd, 2012 by steve

“… At the panel, hosted by the New York Academy of Science, moderator W Ian Lipkin of Columbia University said that ‘the emotional debate is something we’re going to try to keep to a low roar tonight’. Emotions nevertheless ran high as panelists accused each other of misrepresenting facts and rushing too quickly to either publish or censor scientific data …” (more)

[Brendan Maher, Nature News Blog, 3 February]


Public safety outweighs academic freedom, committee rules

Posted in Research on January 31st, 2012 by steve

“… In an article explaining its conclusions, published jointly in Science and Nature today, the committee says ‘revolutionary’ advances in scientists’ ability to manipulate microbial genomes have brought the life sciences to a ‘crossroads’ similar to that faced by physics in the wake of nuclear weapons research in the 1940s …” (more)

[Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 31 January]


A Central Researcher in the H5N1 Flu Debate Breaks His Silence

Posted in Research on January 25th, 2012 by steve

“In the heated debate about two labs that engineered a variant of the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus that for the first time easily transmits between mammals, one critical voice has been missing: Yoshihiro Kawaoka. But today, Kawaoka speaks his mind …” (more)

[Jon Cohen, ScienceInsider, 25 January]