Federal Officials Seek To Keep Details On Bird Flu Study Secret
A federal board has asked two scientific journals to restrict access to details of a genetic study of the bird flu in which researchers altered the virus to be more easily transmittable between humans.
The New York Times: Security In Flu Study Was Paramount, Scientist Says
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, concerned about bioterrorism and a worldwide pandemic, has for the first time ever urged scientific journals to keep details out of reports that they intend to publish on a highly transmissible form of the bird flu called A(H5N1), which has a high death rate in people. Working with ferrets, researchers on the virus at two medical centers — Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison — are investigating genetic changes that may make the virus more easily transmittable to people. Doreen Carvajal spoke with Ron A. M. Fouchier, the lead researcher at the Erasmus Center (Carvajal, 12/21).
The Wall Street Journal: Bird-Flu Data Spur Alarm
Federal officials are drafting a plan to govern access to a pair of studies on a deadly strain of flu virus after asking two scientific journals to withhold details of the research over concerns the information could be used in bioterrorism (Weaver and Wang, 12/22).