Scientists warn that the information produced new research on the H5N1 virus could hinder the discovery of a vaccine
moves by the U.S. government to restrict the publication of articles describing new potentially dangerous strains of bird flu could cause more harm than good by blocking progress toward a vaccine, Scientists warn.
Watchdog U.S. biosecurity asked two of the leading scientific journals Science and Nature, remove information from the documents for fear of the research could fall into the hands of bioterrorism.
But scientists involved in the research spoke of their experiences in public lectures earlier this year, has led some experts to doubt that the documents have much effect .
"There is cause for concern, but to restrict the publication and is closing the barn door after the horse has escaped," said John Wood, former head of the United Kingdom virologist National Institute Biological Standards and Control. "Not only impede progress."
The U.S. National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB) has contacted the editors of journals, after reviewing two documents presented by Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The documents describe experiments in which strains of H5N1 avian influenza, they do not spread easily from human to human, were mutated to make it more transmissible.
Although outbreaks of bird flu has killed a large number of people infected, most people who contracted the virus directly from birds captured. Because the virus became known, scientists have been racing to find ways it could mutate in nature in a more transmissible strain that spread quickly from person to person.newspapers are now working with U.S. authorities to agree on a procedure by which the edited versions of articles are published in good faith, but researchers may have access to basic methods and other details have been removed. The work could be published next month.