H5N1 avian influenza research may ramp up again

01/8/2013 | Wired.co.uk (U.K.)

A meeting with virologists from around the world to discuss avian influenza research could be an indication the U.S. may support an end to the voluntary ban on H5N1 research, provided that new work meets a number of criteria. Research was stopped after two groups developed strains of the virus that easily spread between ferrets, raising fears the virus could escape and spark a pandemic. The proposed parameters for avian influenza research agreed upon at the conference include requirements that the research be highly significant, involve manageable risks and not result in a strain that could not naturally evolve.

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