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SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND
"This is ripe for people in the field of public health. This field, biodefense, needs you. It really needs your input. It needs professionals who understand public health." 2- Jeanne Guillemin
"What’s the way ahead? My sense is that education, consensus, norms, sort of behavioral responses will be more useful…than will be regulatory schemes." 3- David R. Franz
"Transparency and openness is the best constraint we have on illegitimate or people intending to do harm." 9- Barry R. Bloom
"The two aspects that are most compelling to me are first the need to regroup about the pandemic threat of H5N1…And the second is to really be very cautious in allowing the dissemination of these viruses or other viruses like them to more than a limited number of labs." 10- Marc Lipsitch
Amid controversy, a cadre of experts are expected to meet in February at the World Health Organization to debate the publication of experiments that made a deadly form of bird flu more contagious in mammals in an effort to understand mechanisms of its evolution. Worries that the data and research could lead to a blueprint for a bioweapon or an accidental pandemic have fueled concerns. Recently, a federal advisory board recommended that some details of the research not be made public. In January, the scientists who conducted the as-yet-unpublished experiments announced in the journals Science and Nature their decision to "pause" research involving the viruses for 60 days. Other experts have asserted that the risks have been exaggerated. This Forum event, presented in collaboration with Reuters, examined questions raised by the publication of possibly dangerous information and the security issues faced by labs legitimately working with this virus. This event was part of the Andelot Series on Current Science Controversies.
- Pause on avian flu transmission studies
- Pause on Avian Flu Transmission Research
- POLICY: ADAPTATIONS OF AVIAN FLU VIRUS ARE A CAUSE FOR CONCERN
- PUBLIC HEALTH, BIOSECURITY, AND H5N1
- NIH STATEMENT ON H5N1, JANUARY 20, 2012
- National Institutes of Health
- FACING UP TO FLU: THE POTENTIAL FOR MUTANT-FLU RESEARCH TO IMPROVE PUBLIC HEALTH ANY TIME SOON HAS BEEN EXAGGERATED. TIMELY PRODUCTION OF SUFFICIENT VACCINE REMAINS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE.
- U.S. PANEL DEFENDS CALL TO CENSOR BIRD FLU STUDIES
- PANEL EXPLAINS DECISION TO LIMIT PUBLICATION OF BIRD FLU RESEARCH
- Los Angeles Times
- THE NEW YORK TIMES AVIAN FLU HEALTH GUIDE
- The New York Times
Photo © Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC.