posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 05:23 AM
I heard about this last night on the BBC World Service.
It seems that scientists were horrified about a year ago when a Dutch lab working with a lab in Wisconsin claimed to have created a version of the
H5N1 (bird flu) virus that would impact humans. The research was put on lock down due to the significant danger it posed. However, in a recent
letter to the Science and nature Journals a group of scientists have announced that they are about to resume their research - claiming that their labs
operate to the highest safety standards.
Today's BBC article
gives a full background to the story - including the reasons for the
moratorium on the research. Quite understandably one of the reasons was that terrorists may get hold of the info and.......
Their letter to the journals
claims that 'Because H5N1 virus
transmission studies are essential for pandemic preparedness and understanding the adaptation of influenza viruses to mammals, researchers who have
approval from their governments and institutions to conduct this research safely, under appropriate biosafety and biosecurity conditions, have a
public-health responsibility to resume this important work. Scientists should not restart their work in countries where, as yet, no decision has been
reached on the conditions for H5N1 virus transmission research. At this time, this includes the United States and U.S.-funded research conducted in
Oxford University's Prof. Robert May (former President of the Royal Society) has said that the risks hugely outweigh the benefits calling their plans
'stupidly dangerous'. He states that these facilities always over estimate the efficacy of their safety procedures and that over 1000 people have
been infected from labs 'with the highest standards'.
Prof. May also states that there is a possibility that the 1977 H1N1
came from a Russian research facility.
What do I think? I think these 40 scientists are motivated by personal financial gain in the short term. I agree with Prof. May that the risks
completely outweigh any benefits these scientists claim they may reap from their research.....and I shudder at the consequences should it all go
wrong. Sod's Law isn't it - if it can go wrong it WILL go wrong.
edit on 24-1-2013 by christina-66 because: (no reason given)
edit on 24-1-2013 by christina-66 because: (no reason