Armageddon virus: Call to keep killer recipe secret..old news
Two top scientific journals say they are deciding whether to publish details of a man-made mutant flu virus that could kill billions, after a US government’s science advisory committee advised them to withhold key details.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) urged the US journal Science and the British journal Nature to withhold key details so people seeking to harm the public would not be able to manufacture the virus that could cause mass deaths.
The virus in question is an H5N1 bird flu strain that was genetically altered in a Dutch lab so it can pass easily between ferrets.
That means it is likely contagious among humans for the first time, and could trigger a lethal pandemic if it emerged in nature or were set loose by terrorists, experts have said.
One of the scientists behind the H5N1 research told Science his team would remove some details of their work from that manuscripts.
But they disagreed with the NSABB’s conclusions, virologist Albert Osterhaus of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, told Science.
“This is unprecedented,” he said, adding that the manuscript had been sent by Science to the NSABB for another review.
The lead scientist of the other research, which was submitted to Nature, has also agreed to adhere to NSABB’s findings, a spokesman for his university said.
Virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the US was working with Nature‘s editors to alter the manuscript, university spokesman Terry Devitt said.
“We are doing our best to be as responsible as we can be,” Mr Devitt told Science.
The NSABB reviewed two scientific papers relating to the findings and recommended that the journals “make changes in the manuscripts”, a statement said, warning of an “extremely serious global public health threat”.
“Due to the importance of the findings to the public health and research communities, the NSABB recommended that the general conclusions highlighting the novel outcome be published, but that the manuscripts not include the methodological and other details that could enable replication of the experiments by those who would seek to do harm.”
The H5N1 strain of avian influenza is fatal in 60 per cent of human cases but only 350 people have so far died from the disease, largely because it cannot, yet, be transmitted between humans.
It has been revealed two labs succeeded in creating new strains of H5N1 that are easier to spread.
“I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one,” US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) chair Paul Keim told Science back in November.
“I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”
At the time, Science described the new strain as a virus “that could change world history if it were ever set free”.
It had been genetically altered so it could be transferred easily between ferrets, the animals which most closely mimic human response to flu.
Passing the flu from one ferret to another, the team discovered the H5N1 strain mutated into an airborne virus. Until now, that was the key factor in the virus limited it to something unlikely to cause a pandemic.
This morning, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took the unprecedented step of asking two teams researching the new virus not to publicise all the details of how it was created.
They admit the research had lots of potential to help the public, but feared it might also be hijacked by would-be bioterrorists.
wonder why it took that long to become mainstream?
and the questions are still the same from 3 weeks ago..insanity..