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Posts Tagged "Influenza"

Observations

Why Big Data Isn’t Necessarily Better Data

Google,flu,big data

Tech companies—Facebook, Google and IBM, to name a few—are quick to tout the world-changing powers of “big data” gleaned from mobile devices, Web searches, citizen science projects and sensor networks. Never before has so much data been available covering so many areas of interest, whether it’s online shopping trends or cancer research. Still, some scientists [...]

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Observations

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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Observations

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nurse

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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Observations

A Crypto Expert’s View on Scary Bird Flu Data

Avian Influenza

After months of contentious debate, the journal Science is publishing a controversial study on Friday about H5N1 avian influenza‘s ability to spread among mammals. The report faced a tortuous path to publication as some researchers sought to censor the study’s findings for fear that they could be replicated and put to nefarious use. In a [...]

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Observations

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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Observations

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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Observations

What Really Happened in Malta This September When Contagious Bird Flu Was First Announced

malta ESWI meeting

A controversy over whether the U.S. government should allow details of a deadly new flu strain to be published in scientific journals has recently caught fire in the media. But I first heard the news of the mutated virus months ago in Malta at the European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI) meeting. The morning [...]

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Observations

6 Common Misconceptions about the Flu–and Flu Shots

MALTA—Efforts to create a universal flu vaccine, one that would do away with the annual reformulations, is a hot topic these days in the infectious disease community. But in the bigger picture of reducing flu transmission—and reducing the thousands of deaths it causes in the U.S. each year—there is a big leap forward that could [...]

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Observations

The Flu Sheds Light on Holes in Immune System Knowledge

Rat OX-8 (CD8) expressed in many T-cells in the paracortex of the lymph node

MALTA—Coming down with the flu—and slowly recovering from it—might seem straight forward enough. But a lot of what happens in your body on a molecular level during the time between initial infection and full recovery is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists. An improved capacity to track the course of an influenza infection could [...]

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Observations

Transgenic chickens get bird flu without passing it on

transgenic gm chicken that could help stop the spread of bird avian flu

Researchers have engineered a new type of chicken that might help prevent the spread of bird flu—a worrisome virus that has already caused extensive economic harm on farms, especially in Asia, and that could lead to a pandemic in humans. Many farmers have gone to great lengths to prevent a poultry-based pandemic, but the newest [...]

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