The Erimtan Angle

On Tuesday, 24 July, NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce writes that ‘[t]op influenza researchers around the world published a statement back in January [2012] saying they would temporarily hold off on any work with contagious, lab-altered forms of a particularly worrisome form of bird flu. The unusual voluntary moratorium was supposed to last only 60 days, but it’s been more than six months. And scientists don’t agree on what should happen next. Some scientists and researchers say these mutant bird flu viruses could cause a devastating pandemic if they ever got out of the lab. Others argue that the work is vital to help public health officials get ready for the possible threat of a flu pandemic that might emerge naturally, as bird flu viruses mutate in the wild. Flu researchers are going to New York next week for the annual conference of the government-funded Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and…

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