New Gene Map of Deadly Bird Flu Points to Pandemic Concerns
"I don't know why this [study] would even be considered a biological weapon," researcher says.
When does scientific research cause more harm than good? That question has been at the heart of controversy over what should be published about avian flu.
A new study by virologist Ron Fouchier and researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands explores the ability of the H5N1 bird flu strain to become airborne transmissible between mammals. The researchers describe their work, published Thursday in the journal Cell, as providing key insights into how the bird flu virus might spread and, by extension, helping to prevent a possible pandemic.
But the research has been controversial. David Relman, professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at Stanford University in California, says such work could also provide insights into how