UPDATE: Bird Flu Paper Publication Delayed

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posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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UPDATE: Bird Flu Paper Publication Delayed


the-scientist.com

The World Health Organization announced today that it recommends publishing the two controversial H5N1 papers in full, as soon as a few details are worked out. And Science is listening.

The journal Science, and possibly Nature, will delay publication of controversial research on strains of the H5N1 flu capable of transmitting aerially between ferrets, instead opting to publish the work in full after further discussions by scientists and bioethicists make clear the best way to proceed.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Publication is delayed, but the research will be published in FULL "after further discussions."

From the get-go, public health authorities have been on-side with sharing all research results, and pushing for Open Access. The fight against Open Access has come from those with financial interests - Big Pharma, the now-international "security" industry - and following some rather significant media manipulation, the misinformed and under-informed public.

The truth is, dangerous and potentially dangerous pathogens and disease agents are created and dispersed around the world every day - we just don't know about it because the information is protected by Patent and Intellectual Property Rights laws, for power and profit.

It would be great if the public awareness generated by this issue could be re-directed to address legitimate areas of concern - of which there are virtually 10's of thousands.






the-scientist.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 20/2/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)
edit on 20/2/12 by soficrow because: tinkering



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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This is a real conspiracy - good guys against bad guys, David against Goliath, little guys fighting for Open Access to scientific information and for public health against industry.

The good guys want to share scientific information, NOT patent it or protect it up the wazoo with Patents, Confidentiality Agreements, Intellectual Property Rights protections or anything else.

Wotta concept.



posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 03:38 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

All I can do is show you how an under-informed member of the poplace might respond.

My starting principle, which may well be wrong, is that if something dangerous is given to the entire world, there will be some nut who decides to use it. Out of hundreds (thousands?) of labs, someone will be susceptible to bribes, blackmail, extortion, or insanity, and the bug will get out.

It may be foolish, but it seems that restricting the number of labs with access to the information reduces the chance of an uncontrolled release, and in the case of a release, makes it easier to find out where it originated.

Do you think that by releasing it to the world, a vaccine will be created before the virus is released? That may happen (I hope so.) But doesn't that put pressure on to use the virus before the vaccine is found? Besides, the vaccine doesn't have to be looked for if the virus is never found in the first place.

You know, I could have this all wrong. It may be that this virus, and the search for the corresponding vaccine will help develop a solution for all (or many) flu viruses. In that case, I'm glad the virus was found. But while spreading the news of the virus will hasten the cure, it may also increase the risk. Where is the proper balance between speed and risk? You've got me. I don't know if I even understand the problem.

Soficrow, I'll never be able to compliment you enough for your work here, I wish I knew more, but thanks for teaching me.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Thanks for responding charles 1952. ...My concern is that the larger context is being ignored - industry routinely releases dangerous disease-causing agents into the environment - but critical information is unavailable and protected as private property so we have no real ability to deal with it. More importantly, we are are in the middle of an evolutionary crisis that our best minds do not really understand. This research can help towards getting on top of the crisis.

One of industries' main effects is that our environment is routinely modified, forcing evolution in microbes, viruses and molecules, and accelerating that evolution too. H5N1 is a case in point, but not the only one. Our world is facing pandemics from several sources - the only mystery is which one will hit first. Necessary research is constrained in part by a Western population that doesn't "believe in" evolution and refuses to recognize the problem, and a system that demands public health action be governed solely by the potential for profit.

With respect to bird flu - the virus is entrenched from Asia to Egypt, and it's already mutating out-of-control in the "wild." There is absolutely no doubt of bird flu's pandemic potential - and it's equally apparent that vaccines, along with other industry products and byproducts, spur viral evolution. ...We desperately need fresh eyes on the problem.


Bird Flu Still a Menace in Asia and Beyond

Thought bird flu was gone? Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the H5N1 virus is still alive and dangerous, and Vietnam is grappling with a new strain that has outsmarted vaccines used to protect poultry flocks.

...The fresh wave of cases comes amid a controversy involving scientists who created new lab-only versions of the virus that spread more easily among animals, hoping to better understand it. ...

Officials have issued fresh warnings for farmers to beef up surveillance, especially since they can no longer rely on the latest poultry vaccine in the north and central aress where it is weak or useless against a new strain that has emerged in the region. ...

The new strain had earlier been identified in China and was also recently found in Bangladesh and Nepal, where it likely spread via wild birds, said Jan Slingenbergh, a senior animal health officer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. ...




Do you think that by releasing it to the world, a vaccine will be created before the virus is released? That may happen (I hope so.) But doesn't that put pressure on to use the virus before the vaccine is found? Besides, the vaccine doesn't have to be looked for if the virus is never found in the first place.


We need to look far beyond vaccines - and before we can do that effectively, we need to understand evolution much better than we do. Current "genetics" dogma is an albatross and the paradigm needs to shift - we're well on the road but need much more hard information. This research is more likely to lead to better understanding of evolutionary processes than it is to present a danger - but only if it is accessible to other scientists. We desperately need all our scientists on the same page, else we will NOT make it through this evolutionary crisis we're in now.


Respect and thanks to you,
sofi



posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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It's most unfortunate people are not paying attention to this issue - or recognizing that mainstream coverage is, as per usual, representing and protecting industries' interests at the expense of public health.

FYI - Bird flu never went away, and it's recurring in places where it had gone underground, like Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Vietnam, and still going strong in Egypt. People in these countries are very concerned. To say the least.

It's only a matter of time before a pandemic strain evolves and most likely, the only thing that will block it is another pandemic super-bug spreading first. Here's a quick overview of today's bird flu news.


Bioterror is not the biggest threat from bird flu

WHY DO we study flu? So we can protect ourselves from it. We've long since learned that H5N1 bird flu poses real reasons for concern; more recently, that it really does have the potential to become a nightmarish airborne plague. How should we react?

Not by delaying the publication of the research, for fear that it will aid supposed bioterrorists (see "Publish lethal flu virus work, says WHO"). There is surprisingly little evidence that such a threat exists. But there has long been a great deal of evidence that the threat of pandemic flu exists. …..


PM calls for urgent measures to prevent spread of bird flu

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on February 20 sent an urgent dispatch to all provincial authorities to step up measures and tighten supervision so as to prevent the spread of bird flu (H5N1) virus, which has reoccurred in Vietnam.

The dispatch clearly states of the high risk of a fresh bird flu outbreak in Vietnam. Provincial People’s Committees have been ordered to improve food hygiene, especially in slaughterhouses and processing units and constantly monitor bird flu cases so as to contain the infection. …


Indonesia reports third H5N1 death this year

A 19-year-old Indonesian woman has died of avian influenza on the outskirts of Jakarta, putting the total death toll from the disease to three this year, a statement from health ministry said on Wednesday.

Concerns about H5N1 have risen in the region following reports of deaths in Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Vietnam this year. …

Indonesia was hit hard by H5N1 virus in 2005. Nine people, including two children, were killed last year when the virus started to reoccur.



posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

Dear soficrow,

This seems like the sort of thing WHO could be having a pair of meetings on; one wide open with non-sensitive information so that the public and scientists around the world could be informed, and a smaller session for a restricted group of scientists.

Is WHO known for getting a lot of information out quickly? And the smaller session could be made public if need be.

But you've brought up the point frequently about environment pollution triggering mutations and variants. Is that a problem that can be stuffed back in the box? I'm thinking first of China and India, but Russia's pollution is world famous. Can we stop the train?

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 



This seems like the sort of thing WHO could be having a pair of meetings on; one wide open with non-sensitive information so that the public and scientists around the world could be informed, and a smaller session for a restricted group of scientists.

Is WHO known for getting a lot of information out quickly? And the smaller session could be made public if need be.


The real issue here is Open Access to scientific information - one of my pet peeves and rants. The WHO toes the corporate line along with nations - the fight is coming from scientists and public health officials from NGO's.

H5N1 bird flu never went away; it continues to devastate the poultry industries in several nations, and to periodically jump to humans, most often with fatal results. A broader perspective can be found here - 2006: Spin and Counterspin: New Bird Flu Mutation has 91% Fatality Rate in Humans. And do check out my last post.



But you've brought up the point frequently about environment pollution triggering mutations and variants. Is that a problem that can be stuffed back in the box? I'm thinking first of China and India, but Russia's pollution is world famous. Can we stop the train?


Every synthetic chemical and protein, modified gene and nanoparticle that we release into the environment has a trickle-up effect on complex organisms. We're way past the potential for "dispersal." And no, we can't put them back in the box - but we can stop where we're at, instead of just adding more and more and more.

The evolutionary process is far more likely to get us out of this mess than ever more intervention. If we back off and give adaptation a fighting chance.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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Finally.


US experts give nod to publish mutant bird flu studies

A panel of US science and security experts on Friday said two papers on a mutant bird flu should be published after all, reversing its earlier decision to withhold key details, AFP reports.

...the experts saw "new evidence has emerged that underscores the fact that understanding specific mutations may improve international surveillance and public health and safety.

"Global cooperation, critical for pandemic influenza preparedness efforts, is predicated upon the free sharing of information and was a fundamental principle in evaluating these manuscripts," it added.

The NSABB faced criticism after it ruled unanimously in December that a pair of US-funded studies, one by a team from Wisconsin and the other led by Netherlands-based scientist Ron Fouchier, should not be printed without heavy edits of key details to prevent the work from being replicated.

A subsequent meeting of flu experts in Geneva came to the opposite conclusion and urged the prestigious journals Science and Nature to print them as planned...





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