Research into more deadly strain of bird flu suspended over fears for potential spread
2012-01-23 0:00

By Meghan Keneally |

A group of scientists have suspended their research about a more-deadly strain of the bird flu because of massive objections to the study itself.
The scientists in question altered the strands of the H5N1 bird flu, of which there have been 600 cases and 300 fatalities since its discovery in 1997, to make an even more deadly version in hopes of learning key details about the evolution and development of pandemics.

Global threat: Critics argue that the research is at risk of being transmitted, or even stolen by terrorists who will use the more deadly version of the H5N1 virus (pictured) to wreck havoc.

By agreeing to postpone their research for 60 days in order to allow the global scientific community to air their grievances about the research, the scientists are making a significant act of good faith, as voluntary research suspensions are extremely uncommon.

The research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, is being done jointly at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

’We recognize that we and the rest of the scientific community need to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risks,’ the scientists wrote in a letter they published to explain the decision.

’A major obstacle in preventing influenza pandemics is that little is known regarding what makes an influenza virus transmissible in humans. As a consequence, the potential pandemic risk associated with the many different influenza viruses of animals cannot be assessed with any certainty.
Critics argue that their research is extremely dangerous, as it is potentially possible that the disease itself may spread, or that either the information or the specimens of the disease get into the hands of terrorists.

The scientists involved feel that the work should not be hindered as the details that they expect to learn about the development and early warning signs of pandemic diseases is vital to protecting society.
They have made a mutation of the well-known strand of avian flu and have been testing the more deadly version on ferrets as they are considered to be the most similar to humans in how their bodies respond to illness.


Read the full article at:

FrontPage Image: PASIEKA/SPL/Getty, PJM, Edited: EL RIC 2012

Related Articles
Man dies of bird flu in southwest China: report (2012)
Bird flu researchers stand down for 60 days
Live Virus Nasal Flu Vaccine "Better" for Kids Than Shot
Truth comes out: 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic ‘deaths’ of children were actually caused by MRSA
Flu vaccines less effective than thought
World Health Organization to Double Efforts in Global Flu Vaccinations
CDC admits flu vaccines don’t work (which is why you need a new one every year)

Latest News from our Front Page

Norwegian school brutally kicks out students, reopens as immigration center
2015-11-25 1:46
A failing Norwegian school has brutally kicked out all of the students living there with just a few days notice to find somewhere else to live and study. It has now reopened as a reception center for immigrants. The school, called Waldorf, is in the Røyken municipality of Buskerud County. It had been failing for sometime, and was officially declared bankrupt ...
Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME?
2015-11-25 1:52
Youtube description: She says: "I have reached a boiling point with these lies about Islam! Please share it, don't let me waste my breath....go to for a translation of the ISIS website along with other great articles and podcasts!" Source:
Funniest Moments of Illegal Migrants
2015-11-25 1:27
Youtube description: - Beginner picture: Macedonia - Disastrous migrant: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side) - Grateful migrants: Hungary (Budapest) - Border Control: Austria (Slovenian border) - Migrant actor: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side) - Intelligent migrants: Hungary-Serbia border (Hungarian arie) (The fence was built from the border 2,5meters, in Hungarian area) - Idiot migrant: Hungary (Bicske) Source:
Pew: 65% say the news media has a 'negative effect' on America
2015-11-25 1:55
More than six in 10 Americans believe that the news media, followed closely by Hollywood, has a negative effect on the country, according to a new survey. An extensive new Pew Research Center survey finds that 65 percent believe that the news media "has a negative effect on the way things are going in the country." Some 56 percent said the ...
Hostage situation reported in N. France, several suffer 'gunshot wounds''
2015-11-25 1:12
A hostage situation has been reported in the northern French town of Roubaix near the Belgian border. Several people have sustained gunshot wounds, Reuters reported citing medical sources. The area has been cordoned off by police, RTL reported, adding that gunfire can be heard. La Voix du Nord newspaper says the hostage takers are armed with Kalashnikovs. Witnesses told the daily that ...
More News »