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Decision time for researchers of deadly bird

2012-2-15 10:27 

(Reuters) - When 22 bird flu experts meet at the World Health Organization this week, they will be tasked with deciding just how far scientists should go in creating lethal mutant viruses in the name of research. The hurriedly assembled meeting is designed to try to settle an unprecedented row over a call to ban publication of two scientific studies which detail how to mutate H5N1 bird flu viruses into a form that could cause a deadly human pandemic. But experts say whatever the outcome, no amount of censorship, global regulation or shutting down of research projects could stop rogue scientists getting the tools to create and release a pandemic H5N1 virus if they were intent on evil. "It doesn't matter how much you restrict scientists from doing good, bad people can still do bad things," said Wendy Barclay, an expert in flu virology at Imperial College London.

By Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay
LONDON/GENEVA | Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:31pm EST

 

 

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