Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moving forward with controversial H5N1 research

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
With biosafety concerns raised over the possible release of new strains of H5N1 influenza that could easily pass between mammals viruses, researchers agreed on a six-month moratorium on H5N1 research -- classified as "dual-use research of concern." To advance the discussion, global experts in virology and public health assess the probability of an accidental release and discuss concerns over laboratory biocontainment and the pros and cons of DURC.

Last winter, scientists at the University of Wisconsin and Erasmus University (Netherlands) shocked the world by announcing they had developed strains of H5N1 influenza that could easily pass between mammals (ferrets). In nature, H5N1 is extremely lethal (kills nearly 60% of its human cases), but it does not easily spread from person-to-person. Thus, biosafety concerns were raised over the possible release, accidental or intentional, of these new viruses.

In January 2012, an international panel of 39 influenza researchers agreed on a 6-month moratorium on all gain-of-function H5N1 research -- classified as "dual-use research of concern" or DURC. This was followed over the summer by an indefinite continuation of the ban by the U.S. government until consensus emerges on how to proceed.

To advance this discussion, the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) journal mBio (http://mbio.asm.org/) is publishing a special issue of commentaries on the pros and cons of DURC from global experts in virology and public health.

Here is a brief summary.

ASM officials Arturo Casadevall and Thomas Shenk set the stage by discussing the major events that led to the moratorium.

Anthony Fauci, head of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reviews how the U.S. government plans to proceed.

Concerns over laboratory biocontainment are addressed by Professor W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection & Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

The authors of the controversial research, Ron A. M. Fouchier and Yoshihiro Kawaoka¬¬¬, along with Adolfo Garcνa-Sastre, highlight the importance of DURC and why the moratorium should be lifted.

Public health experts Marc Lipsitch and Barry Bloom assess the probability of an accidental release from laboratories with advanced security.

Finally, Stanley Falkow, who attended the infamous 1975 Asilomar conference, provides historical context by comparing the current H5N1 moratorium to lessons learned from the moratorium on recombinant DNA technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Moving forward with controversial H5N1 research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111946.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2012, October 9). Moving forward with controversial H5N1 research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111946.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Moving forward with controversial H5N1 research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009111946.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Research on Enhanced Transmissibility in H5N1 Influenza: Should the Moratorium End?

Oct. 9, 2012 — In a series of commentaries, prominent microbiologists and physicians argue the cases both for and against lifting a voluntary moratorium on experiments to enhance the ability of the H5N1 virus to ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins