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U.S. official says bird flu limits not ‘censorship’
By Andrew Jones
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Leading US health official Anthony Fauci on Wednesday rejected claims that the United States is censoring science by seeking to limit potentially dangerous bird flu information in major journals.
The controversy arose when two separate research teams — one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States — separately found ways to alter the H5N1 avian influenza so it could pass easily between mammals.
Uploaded by 108morris108 on Dec 21, 2011
Bill Gates is spending billions on vaccination programs around the world:
"The parents of 24,000 children in northern Pakistan refused to allow health workers to administer polio vaccinations last month, mostly due to rumours that the harmless vaccine was an American plot to sterilise innocent Muslim children."
Originally posted by soficrow
There is no doubt polluting industries create disease agents, as do common contaminants, additives and more in our food and consumer products. These agents initiate an outward-spreading spiral that starts with protein molecules, moves on to cells and microbes, then tissues, organs, systems and larger organisms.
It would be interesting to identify the culprits at the top of the economic food chain. Some of the work already has been done:
edit on 19/12/11 by soficrow because: (no reason given)
Security in Flu Study Was Paramount, Scientist Says
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, concerned about bioterrorism and a worldwide pandemic, has for the first time ever urged scientific journals to keep details out of reports that they intend to publish on a highly transmissible form of the bird flu called A(H5N1), which has a high death rate in people. Working with ferrets, researchers on the virus at two medical centers — Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison — are investigating genetic changes that may make the virus more easily transmittable to people. Doreen Carvajal spoke with Ron A. M. Fouchier, the lead researcher at the Erasmus Center.
In principle, we of course understand the statement by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the United States government. This is dual-use research, meaning research that can be used for good and bad purposes.
The N.S.A.B.B. advice is that we can share this in a restricted form.
We would be perfectly happy if this could be executed, but we have some doubts. We have made a list of experts that we could share this with, and that list adds up to well over 100 organizations around the globe, and probably 1,000 experts. As soon as you share information with more than 10 people, the information will be on the street. And so we have serious doubts whether this advice can be followed, strictly speaking.
Q. So what is the solution?
A. This is very important research. It raises a number of important issues that need to be shared with the scientific community. And because we cannot keep this confidential with such a large group. I think the only solution is to publish in detail.
Q. How do you sum up the most vital information that should be shared?
A. There are three aspects that need to be shared.
The first part of the work can be shared without detail. The message is that H5N1 can go airborne between mammals. Of course, we have also showed how this virus can go airborne, and which mutations cause this virus to go airborne. And those mutations, the info of those mutations, need to come in the hands of people who are doing research — for instance, the people who are doing surveillance in countries affected by H5N1. If those mutations would be detected in the field, then those countries affected should act very aggressively to stamp out the outbreaks, to protect the world.
So if we can stamp this virus out before it actually emerges, then we prevent a pandemic. And I think that is what we all want.
But even if we would not be able to prevent a pandemic — and let’s assume that there is a very small chance that the virus will emerge in nature — then our last resource would be drugs and vaccines.
Now, drugs and vaccines are normally evaluated with bird flu viruses that are not adapted to mammals. Now the questions are whether those vaccines are effective against the mammal-adapted virus. And so by doing this research, we are able to get ahead of this virus emerging in the field to test whether our last resource would be functional.
So the three things are: one is the simple fact that it can go airborne. That means that all the advice from the scientific community to outbreak countries now can be more unanimous that H5N1 is a very big risk to human health. The second thing is surveillance, and the third thing is preparation by evaluating vaccines and antivirals.
Q. How easy is it to recreate this virus?
A. It is not very easy. You need a very sophisticated specialist team and sophisticated facilities to do this. And in our opinion, nature is the biggest bioterrorist. There are many pathogens in nature that you could get your hands on very easily, and if you released those in the human population, we would be in trouble.
And therefore we think that if bioterror or biowarfare would be a problem, there are so many easy ways of doing it that nobody would take this H5N1 virus and do this very difficult thing to achieve it.
You could not do this work in your garage if you are a terrorist organization. But what you can do is get viruses out of the wild and grow them in your garage. There are terrorist opportunities that are much, much easier than to genetically modify H5N1 bird flu virus that are probably much more effective.
The only people who want to hold back are the biosecurity experts. They show zero tolerance to risk. The public health specialists do not have this zero tolerance. I have not spoken to a single public health specialist who was against publication. So we are going to see an interesting debate over the next few weeks between biosecurity experts and public health experts who think this information should be in the public domain.
Happy Holidays, Corporate America - I'd Like to File a Complaint
by Michael Winship | December 23, 2011 - 9:49am
What's more, I noticed the other day that Mark Ryan, who retired last year from his job as chief executive of the drugstore chain to which I complained - CVS Caremark - was one of the ten most highly paid bosses in America. That's according to the corporate governance group GMI Ratings. The New York Times reports, "In his last year at CVS he received total compensation of $29.2 million and an additional $50.4 million from stock awards and options." He's now an operating partner with Advent International, a private equity firm specializing in corporate buyouts. Which is interesting because during the time he was CEO at CVS, its stock price dropped by more than half.
Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to be Released in the US for the First Time
Mike Barrett © Natural Society
Fri, 23 Dec 2011
To those of you who have been eager to hear the latest news concerning the potential release of genetically modified mosquitoes - here it is. It turns out that the genetically modified mosquitoes could be released into the U.S. environment as early as January of 2012. A private firm plans to initiate the release of the GE mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. Florida will be the first beta testing grounds to determine whether or not the mosquitoes lead to detrimental environmental and genetic impact. Residents in this area will also be subjected - without choice - to these genetically manipulated insects, unless the private firm decides to seek permission.
Genetically engineered mosquitoes: Coming to the U.S.
Recent reports have exposed Oxitec’s plan to release its GE mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. According to Michael Doyle, director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, Oxitec intends to release 5,000 to 10,000 GE mosquitoes over a two week period and release them into an undisclosed 36-square-acre block area as early as January 2012 likely near the Key West Cemetery. The trial is expected to last about two months. The mosquitoes will be dusted with a fluorescent powder for identification purposes and then trapped to see how far they are flying. If the male mosquito population declines, the trial
will be considered a success.
CONTACT: Eric Hoffman ~ Biotechnology policy campaigner ~ 202-222-0747 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
1100 15th St NW, Flr 11
WaShiNgtoN, DC 20005
311 CaliForNia St, Ste. 510
SaN FraNCiSCo, Ca 94104
Additionally, Oxitec must be legally liable in case something goes wrong with the
field release of its GE mosquitoes. If its actions harm the environmental or public
health, Oxitec must be legally responsible for the damages and must compensate the
communities. It must also be required to repair the damage it caused to the greatest
Until such studies have been independently completed and made available to the
public, it is premature to allow the release of GE mosquitoes in the U.S. or elsewhere.
The burden of proof rests with Oxitec to show the public its mosquitoes are safe. Until
that burden of proof is met GE mosquitoes must remain inside the lab.
"Proteins are the molecular machines of life, the molecules we are made of," Zocchi said. "We have found that sometimes they behave as a solid and sometimes as a liquid.
"Solids have a shape while liquids flow — for simple materials at low stresses. However, for complex materials, or large stresses, the behavior can be in-between. Subjected to mechanical forces, a material might be elastic and store mechanical energy (simple solid), viscous and dissipate mechanical energy (simple fluid), or visco-elastic and both store and dissipate mechanical energy (complex solid, complex fluid). The viscoelastic behavior characteristic of more complex matter had not been clearly seen before on isolated proteins because mechanical measurements tend to destroy the proteins."
Engineered bacteria provide new tool for nanotechnology protein design
For the first time, the scientists were able to create bacteria capable of effectively incorporating “unnatural” amino acids – artificial additions to the 20 naturally occurring amino acids used as biological building blocks – into proteins at multiple sites. This ability may provide a powerful new tool for the study of biological processes and for engineering bacteria that produce new types of synthetic chemicals.
define life...."that finds a way"
Then define Hope. ...the subject gets as big as we can only imagine