The decision by the US government to allow the resumption of experiments on aerosol transmission of avian influenza viruses has once again raised the hackles of some individuals who feel that the work is too risky. I disagree with their view on this work.
Science reports that â€˜Controversial lab studies that modify bird flu viruses in ways that could make them more risky to humans will soon resume after being on hold for more than 4 yearsâ€™. Denise Grady of the New York Times wrote that â€œResearch that could make flu viruses more dangerousâ€ are set to resume. Note that the experiments done in the Kawaoka and Fouchier laboratories that allow aersol transmission of avian H5N1 viruses among ferrets discussed here previously actually made the viruses much less pathogenic. This fact is ignored in all the discourse about the work. [Read more…] about Avian influenza virus transmission experiments proceed, as they should