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Molecules to Medicine

H1N-What? Wading Through the Alphabet Soup of Flu Names


Muddled about all the new flu viruses? It’s hard to keep up with the changing names in the news. H1Nwhat? Bird flu. Pig flu. MERS. SARS. Here is a quick overview of this dizzying, dyslexia inducing array, with what you need to worry about, even if some aren’t yet in your backyard. Acronym soup I [...]

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Research into Contagious Bird Flu Starts after Moratorium

bird flu pandemic research h5n1

After public outcry against research into avian flu strains that can be transmitted among mammals, 40 of the top scientists working on the influenza strains signed a voluntary moratorium on research last January. The goal of the pause was to properly—and publically—weigh the potential risks and benefits of such investigations. Critics of the research noted [...]

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Paul Nurse: We Need to Have a Grown-Up Discussion about Biosecurity

As the life sciences become more global and collaborative, researchers have become more productive—and their work potentially more dangerous. White House officials in the past year delayed publication of two scientific papers out of concern for safety and security. In an interview for our October 2012 report on the state of the world’s science, Paul [...]

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Controversial Bird-Flu Research Published: How Worried Should We Be?

chickens on a farm

A highly controversial research paper on bird flu was released today by the journal Nature. It shows that a particularly troublesome strain of avian influenza, designated H5N1, which has been worrying public health officials for more than a decade, has the potential to become a human pandemic. In other words, H5N1 bird flu, which so [...]

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Schism over H5N1 Avian Flu Research Leaks Out

electron micrograph of H5N1 virus

NEW YORK—Sparks flew Thursday night at a New York Academy of Sciences panel discussion about whether or not certain recent research into the H5N1 avian flu virus has created a major biosecurity threat and what, if anything, to do about it. The research in question comes from the labs of Ron Fouchier at the Erasmus [...]

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