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  • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

    Research to Resume on Modified, Deadlier Bird Flu

    By DENISE GRADY
    Published: January 23, 2013

    During a telephone news conference on Wednesday, Ron Fouchier... said the scientists were lifting the moratorium without waiting for guidelines from the United States.

    “How long do you want us to wait?” Dr. Fouchier asked. “If this was the Netherlands, would the U.S. wait? Should all countries really wait for the U.S., and why?”
    ...
    He said other scientists could be given samples of the mutant virus for research only with the permission of Erasmus Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health and virus experts at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.

    Full text:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/he...ty-debate.html

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The 40 scientists co-authors to the Correspondence by countries:

    25 USA
    3 China
    2 Netherlands
    2 Hong Kong
    2 Germany
    2 UK
    1 Italy
    1 Russia
    1 Japan
    1 Canada


    Supplementary information to:
    Transmission studies resume for avian flu

    Full list of co-authors to a Correspondence published online ahead of print in Nature;
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11858 (2013).

    Wendy S. Barclay Department of Medicine, Imperial College London,
    UK.
    w.barclay@imperial.ac.uk

    Nicole M. Bouvier Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of
    Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
    10029, USA.
    nicole.bouvier@mssm.edu

    Ian H. Brown Virology Department, Animal Health and Veterinary
    Laboratories Agency, Addlestone,UK.
    ian.brown@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk

    Ilaria Capua Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie,
    Padova, Italy.
    icapua@izsvenezie.it

    Hualan Chen Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Harbin, China.
    hlchen1@yahoo.com

    Richard W. Compans Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology
    Research Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta,
    GA30322, USA.
    rcompan@emory.edu

    Robert B. Couch Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology,
    Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
    rcouch@bcm.edu

    Nancy J. Cox Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and
    Prevention, Atlanta, GA30333, USA.
    njc1@cdc.gov

    Peter C. Doherty Dept of Immunology, St Jude Children’s Research
    Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
    peter.doherty@stjude.org

    Ruben O. Donis Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch, Influenza
    Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
    30333, USA.
    rvd6@cdc.gov

    Heinz Feldmann Laboratory of Virology, National Institute of Allergy
    and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain
    Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA.
    feldmannh@niaid.nih.gov

    Ron A. M. Fouchier Dept Virology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the
    Netherlands.
    r.fouchier@erasmusmc.nl

    Adolfo García-Sastre Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of
    Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.
    adolfo.garcia-sastre@mssm.edu

    Yi Guan State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, School
    of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
    yguan@hku.hk

    Jacqueline M. Katz Immunology and Pathogenesis Branch, Influenza
    Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
    30333, USA.
    jmk9@cdc.gov

    Yoshihiro Kawaoka* Department of Pathobiological Sciences,
    School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison,
    Madison, WI 53711, USA.
    *Corresponding author: kawaokay@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu

    Oleg. I. Kiselev D. I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Ministry of Public
    Health, Moscow, Russia.
    office@influenza.spb.ru

    Hans-Dieter Klenk Institut für Virologie, Marburg, Germany.
    klenk@staff.uni-marburg.de

    Gary Kobinger National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health
    Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    gary.kobinger@phac-aspc.gc.ca

    Jinhua Liu Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, China
    Agricultural University, Beijing, China.
    ljh@cau.edu.cn

    Xiufan Liu Animal Infectious Disease Laboratory,
    School of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University,Yangzhou,
    Jiangsu, China.
    xfliu@yzu.edu.cn

    Anice Lowen Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory
    University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA30322, USA.
    anice.lowen@emory.edu

    Thomas C. Mettenleiter Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald-Insel
    Riems, Germany.
    thomas.mettenleiter@fli.bund.de

    Albert D. M. E. Osterhaus Department of Virology, Erasmus MC,
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    a.osterhaus@erasmusmc.nl

    Peter Palese Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at
    Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.
    peter.palese@mssm.edu

    J. S. Malik Peiris Centre of Influenza Research, School of Public Health,
    The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
    malik@hkucc.hku.hk

    Daniel R. Perez Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of
    Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
    dperez1@umd.edu

    Juergen A. Richt College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State
    University, Kansas, KS 66506, USA.
    jricht@vet.k-state.edu

    Stacey Schultz-Cherry Department of Infectious Disease, St. Jude
    Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
    stacey.schultz-cherry@stjude.org

    John Steel Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory
    University, School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
    john.steel@emory.edu

    Kanta Subbarao Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section, Laboratory
    of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
    Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
    ksubbarao@niaid.nih.gov

    David E. Swayne Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, USDA/
    Agricultural Research Service, Athens, GA30605, USA.
    david.swayne@ars.usda.gov

    Toru Takimoto Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
    University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
    toru_takimoto@urmc.rochester.edu

    Masato Tashiro Influenza Virus Research Center, National Institute of
    Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, 208-0011, Japan.
    mtashiro@nih.go.jp

    Jeffery K. Taubenberger Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section,
    Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy
    and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,
    MD 20892, USA.
    taubenbergerj@niaid.nih.gov

    Paul G. Thomas Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children’s
    Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
    paul.thomas@stjude.org

    Ralph A. Tripp Dept Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary
    Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
    ratripp@uga.edu

    Terrence M. Tumpey Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control
    and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
    tft9@cdc.gov

    Richard J. Webby Department of Infectious Disease, St. Jude Children’s
    Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
    richard.webby@stjude.org

    Robert G. Webster Division of Virology, Department of Infectious
    Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105,
    USA.
    robert.webster@stjude.org

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...re11858-s1.pdf
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • Statement of Drs. Collins and Fauci concerning intention to lift moratorium

      Statement of Drs. Collins and Fauci concerning intention to lift moratorium

      January 25, 2013


      One year ago, scientists in the H5N1 influenza research community announced that they would voluntarily suspend certain “gain-of-function” experiments involving highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses pending a broad international dialogue about the future direction of this research.

      That dialogue — which has included experts in the life sciences, public health, biosecurity, biosafety, law, and science policy communities — has been highly productive, with numerous meetings and publications helping to clarify the most critical issues associated with this type of research.

      Countries where this research is (or might be) conducted have had the opportunity to review their policies and parameters for funding, conducting, and communicating about this research. In this context, the H5N1 influenza research community has announced their intention and support for resuming their research in those countries with final guidelines in place.

      The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked in a transparent and collaborative fashion to develop a framework for reviewing funding decisions regarding research that might increase mammalian transmission of HPAI H5N1 viruses by respiratory droplets. We anticipate that the final framework for HHS funding decisions regarding HPAI H5N1 gain-of-function experiments will be complete in the next several weeks. In the meantime, U.S.-funded researchers (both those working in the United States, including those in government laboratories, as well as those working overseas) have agreed not to resume these types of HPAI H5N1 gain-of-function experiments pending finalization of the HHS Framework.


      Understanding how influenza viruses become human pandemic threats is vitally important to global health preparedness. We applaud the international H5N1 influenza research community for the spirit in which they instituted this extended “pause” on their work, which has provided time for thoughtful consideration of its implications.

      Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
      Director, National Institutes of Health

      Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
      Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      National Institutes of Health http://www.nih.gov/about/director/01..._statement.htm
      CSI:WORLD http://swineflumagazine.blogspot.com/

      treyfish2004@yahoo.com

      Comment


      • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

        Suspended bird flu research resumes

        <TABLE class=event-details cellSpacing=0><TBODY><TR><TH vAlign=top>Date:</TH><TD vAlign=top>28 Jan 2013</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
        ...
        After a year of extensive discussions about how such research should be conducted, the moratorium was finally lifted last week. Professor Wendy Barclay, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, is a signatory on the letter in Nature announcing the resumption of this research. Here she explains why the work was suspended and why it will now continue.

        "The moratorium on research with H5N1 highly pathogenic influenza viruses leading to increased transmissibility in mammals was put in place last year by an international collection of influenza virologists. The stimulus for this voluntary pause in research in one specific area was the revelation that two labs had actually generated recombinant viruses with increased transmissibility. Several other labs along with these two had been working in this area for some years, publishing and presenting their work openly, but only when efforts yielded up a positive result did anyone really notice. Then there was a knee jerk response from certain quarters previously naive of this approach, expressing horror that scientists were brewing up deadly diseases. It became clear that the public needed reassurance and justification about these experiments.
        ...
        Now the scientists suggest it is time to move on, go back to the very safe bench they were working at, taking on board the comments of the past year which will undoubtedly have focused their minds on the key questions they hope now to address. H5N1 has not stood still during this year, but thankfully it has also not made any significant evolutionary jumps either. Evidence suggests the virus continues to drift antigenically especially in places like Egypt, but also that clinical management of patients caught early in the infection is improving their chances of survival. The information learned from the two publications that finally made it into Nature and Science last year has been processed by the influenza community and has been hugely informative, not only for understanding the risks from H5N1 but also for illuminating how other subtypes of flu might species jump and even for assessing the zoonotic risks from other pathogens. The lifting of the moratorium will undoubtedly lead to more scientific revelations that will have direct consequence for human and animal health."

        Full text:
        http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandev...1-2013-15-6-41
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

          strange how they formulate it.
          What I recall is, that NSABB first discouraged publishing, then recommended
          publishing of a modified paper where the mutations were left out and only
          given to a few selected labs, but then
          realized that this was not practicable for legal (US) reasons because other
          scientists could require the information through a freedom-of-information-act
          request.,
          Is it too much required, that USA change their laws in this respect ?
          How do they handle military secrets or "cables" or such where they are
          so sensitive ?

          I do not see how publishing the mutations might help those who might become infected
          with H5N1 in the current phase. And why even consider this, when the possible H5N1 pandemic affects
          billions vs. a few hundred infected each year.
          Should we later find an application, that really makes use of there mutations
          and that requires publication thereof and international brought cooperation,
          then the mutations can still be published
          I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
          my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

          Comment


          • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

            GS
            There is a bit more to it, legally, than just the US domestic law.

            The WHO concluded a legal framework involving the nation states, pharmaceutical companies and other interested parties after the sequence release stand-off between the poor countries lead by Indonesia and the richer countries - hosting the vaccine producers/antiviral manufactures - lead by the US.

            The crux of the issue was that Indonesia, and others, were supplying biological samples and sequences free of charge to WHO - who then gave them to others who sequenced them and used them to develop drugs and vaccines - but Indonesia et al got nothing out of it and could not afford the prices these entities charged for the resultant data and products.

            The new system requires Nation States to sign up to participate and if they do so they must provide specimens and sequence data which the participating states can access. Commercial interests and universities can also sign up to access the biological material must return sequences and findings to the database. If they make commercial gain they agree to contribute commensurately. These funds are used to make vaccines available to those members who would not otherwise be able to afford them. All parties sign non disclosure agreements so nothing can be shared outside the closed group of signatories.

            This agreement was tortuous to negotiate and failure to let some participating countries, and their universities, access to research results based on submitted biological materials is in contravention of the agreement and could unravel the whole thing.

            Comment


            • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

              we're talking about relatively small economical gains as compared to the possible damage.
              And this was not the argument of the NSABB why they changed their mind.

              > but Indonesia et al got nothing out of it

              how much did they require ? Maybe some CSL stocks would have been
              appropriate.

              > The new system requires Nation States to sign up to participate and if they
              > do so they must provide specimens and sequence data which the participating states can access

              all of it ? You can't know, what they have

              > These funds are used to make vaccines available to those members who would not
              > otherwise be able to afford them.

              de facto a H5N1 tax, to discourage companies from developing H5-vax.
              Better give Indonesia et.al some money directly. You could declare it as H5N1 eradication help or such

              > All parties sign non disclosure agreements so nothing can be shared outside the
              > closed group of signatories.

              this cannot be controlled. Some will be working on it in lower biosafety

              > This agreement was tortuous to negotiate and failure to let some participating countries,
              > and their universities, access to research results based on submitted biological
              > materials is in contravention of the agreement and could unravel the whole thing

              modify the whole thing a bit.It cannot be in the interest of either signing party that
              those mutations and results become public

              The process was still that NSABB first wanted to censor it and wanted the mutations to
              be available only to selected groups. Then they figured out that this won't work because
              of US-laws, so they changed their minds.

              ## Osterholm in his bias-criticism letter:
              http://www.nature.com/news/bias-accu...-board-1.10454
              When the US government asked the NSABB in autumn of 2011 to review the papers
              for publication, the board suggested that the papers be published in redacted form,
              stripped of details that would allow people to recreate the viruses.
              ...
              Before the (deciding 29.-30.March 2012-) meeting, assessments deemed the NSABB’s
              proposed redactions too difficult to facilitate. The NSABB had recommended that
              only brief announcements of the findings be published and that only qualified,
              vetted experts be allowed access to the full data and methods.
              Officials essentially took that option off the table, meaning that NSABB members
              would have to vote either for full publication or no publication. Osterholm writes
              that this all-or-nothing approach merely “kicked the can down the road”, ....

              ## to which Patterson replied:

              http://blogs.nature.com/news/files/2...04-25-2012.pdf

              For instance, it was explained that the Government is exploring the feasibility of developing
              a mechanism for controlled access to sensitive scientific information for those with a legitimate
              need to know, in cases where certain details are redacted from a manuscript, and this would
              be a way for the full information to reach relevant communities. However, the Government
              noted that there were complex legal and practical issues still to be addressed and thus
              such a mechanism was not currently available for communicating information in the H5N1
              manuscripts under consideration at the March 29-30 NSABB meeting

              ## then she added your point mentioned above:

              There was also discussion of the
              international fiamework for virus sharing recently negotiated by the WHO
              and concerns that the
              framework could be endangered if the manuscripts were redacted
              I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
              my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

              Comment


              • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                Limits on Laboratories
                The Deadliest Virus

                by David Levin
                March-April 2013

                ...“Part of what makes H5N1 so deadly is that most people lack an immunity to it,” explains Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who studies the spread of infectious diseases. “If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.”
                ...
                If a transmissible strain of H5N1 escapes the lab, says Lipsitch, it could spark a global health catastrophe. “It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do,” he says. “This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.”

                Ironically, this is why Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist whose lab created the new H5N1 strain, argues that studying it in more depth is crucial. If the virus can be made transmissible in the lab, he reasons, it can also occur in nature—and researchers should have an opportunity to understand as much as possible about the strain before that happens.
                Lipsitch, who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH, thinks the risks far outweigh the rewards. Even in labs with the most stringent safety requirements, such as enclosed rubber “space suits” to isolate researchers, accidents do happen. A single unprotected breath could infect a researcher, who might unknowingly spread the virus beyond the confines of the lab.

                Full text:
                http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/03/h...eadliest-virus
                ...
                "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                -Nelson Mandela

                Comment


                • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                  Originally posted by Pathfinder View Post
                  Limits on Laboratories
                  The Deadliest Virus

                  by David Levin
                  March-April 2013

                  ...“Part of what makes H5N1 so deadly is that most people lack an immunity to it,” explains Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) who studies the spread of infectious diseases. “If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.”
                  ...
                  If a transmissible strain of H5N1 escapes the lab, says Lipsitch, it could spark a global health catastrophe. “It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do,” he says. “This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.”

                  Ironically, this is why Ron Fouchier, the Dutch virologist whose lab created the new H5N1 strain, argues that studying it in more depth is crucial. If the virus can be made transmissible in the lab, he reasons, it can also occur in nature—and researchers should have an opportunity to understand as much as possible about the strain before that happens.
                  Lipsitch, who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH, thinks the risks far outweigh the rewards. Even in labs with the most stringent safety requirements, such as enclosed rubber “space suits” to isolate researchers, accidents do happen. A single unprotected breath could infect a researcher, who might unknowingly spread the virus beyond the confines of the lab.

                  Full text:
                  http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/03/h...eadliest-virus
                  ...
                  A response:

                  hat tip Vincent Racanciello

                  Harvard University: Great virology, bad science writing

                  <abbr class="published" title="2013-02-18">18 February 2013</abbr>

                  Harvard University is home to some of the world’s finest virologists. But apparently they do not communicate with the writers at Harvard Magazine, where a botched story on the avian H5N1 influenza virus has just been published.
                  The problems begin with the first paragraph:
                  But when Dutch researchers recently created an even more deadly strain of the virus in a laboratory for research purposes, they stirred grave concerns about what would happen if it escaped into the outside world.
                  Readers of virology blog will know by now that the Dutch researchers did not make an ‘even more deadly strain of the virus’ – they made one that could be transmitted by aerosol, but which had lost its lethality.
                  The title of the article, ‘The Deadliest Virus’, presumably refers to the H5N1 virus that transmits by aerosol among ferrets. This title is simply wrong, because the virus is not deadly to ferrets.
                  The first paragraph also contains an equally egregious statement by epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch:
                  If you make a strain that’s highly transmissible between humans, as the Dutch team did, it could be disastrous if it ever escaped the lab.
                  Dr. Lipsitch seems to be saying that the Dutch group created an H5N1 virus that transmits among humans. As far as I know, ferrets are not humans.
                  The article is accompanied by a photograph of two scientists working in BSL4 suits. The legend reads:
                  The modified H5N1 virus could infect a billion people if it escaped a biocontainment lab like the Canadian facility shown above.
                  And later Lipsitch is quoted as saying:
                  It could infect millions of people in the United States, and very likely more than a billion people globally, like most successful flu strains do. This might be one of the worst viruses—perhaps the worst virus—in existence right now because it has both transmissibility and high virulence.
                  For Lipsitch to say that the virus is both transmissible and of high virulence in humans is a misrepresentation of the Dutch group’s findings. He seems to be making up numbers and scenarios.
                  Perhaps Dr. Lipsitch does not know that ferret studies are not predictive of how viruses will behave in humans. With so many virologists at Harvard, the writer could have checked Dr. Lipsitch’s statements. But he did not, and the result looks as foolish as the New York Times.
                  "May the long time sun
                  Shine upon you,
                  All love surround you,
                  And the pure light within you
                  Guide your way on."

                  "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
                  Aristotle

                  “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
                  Mohandas Gandhi

                  Be the light that is within.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                    Amid massive security, bird flu virus research awaits approval

                    By Karen Herzog of the Journal Sentinel
                    Feb. 19, 2013
                    ...
                    Kawaoka is ready to tackle new questions about how avian influenza virus evolves in nature.

                    He never expected to be thrust into the international spotlight in November 2011, when his research was lumped together with a scientist's research in the Netherlands that - unlike Kawaoka's work - created a deadly H5N1virus strain .

                    Kawaoka does research only with influenza viruses that are sensitive to antiviral drugs, Moritz says.

                    Making a virus that's resistant to countermeasures would be a major violation of U.S. government guidelines, she says.

                    To determine whether H5N1 viruses could be spread among humans, Kawaoka's team generated viruses that combine a gene of avian influenza with genes from a human pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

                    The team used ferrets because the mammals sneeze and cough like humans when infected with a virus. That's how flu viruses are spread among people.

                    The freezer holding the viruses in the Madison lab is accessible to only a handful of approved personnel. It's kept at -80 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit), and the virus inventory is checked monthly.
                    ...
                    As scientists around the world debate the wisdom of creating viruses in labs that could pose serious health threats if accidentally released, or intentionally misused, UW-Madison scientists continue to defend the safety and security surrounding their work.

                    How would UW researchers know if the virus escaped into the lab?

                    "That's why we have multiple layers of protection," Moritz says.

                    Full text:
                    http://www.jsonline.com/features/hea...191913361.html
                    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                    -Nelson Mandela

                    Comment


                    • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                      I don't understand that Racaniello fellow.
                      It's new for us flubies to deal with people saying
                      it won't be so bad rather than that it won't happen.

                      it's hard to prove the "coulds" and "mights" from Lipsich incorrect

                      but even if, what's the point ? Don't worry about a H5N1 pandemic
                      because it would likely be not so bad ??

                      (and thus silently considering that it may well happen ....)

                      H5N1 is awful. Even if it would be only as bad as 1918, which could
                      well happen, that doesn't let me sleep well ...

                      Taking the Fouchier-virus and assuming it behaves similar in humans
                      and assuming it goes pandemic, how many deaths can we estimate ?
                      (my estimate 100M, I challenge Racaniello to give his estimate)
                      I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                      my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

                      Comment


                      • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                        New guidelines announced for risky research

                        <TIME pubdate="" datetime="2013-02-21T19:13:53+00:00"><ABBR class=value title=2013-02-21>21 Feb 2013 </ABBR>|<ABBR class=value title=19:13:53+0000> 19:13 GMT</ABBR></TIME> | Posted by Brendan Maher |
                        <!-- before_entry --></HEADER><SECTION>
                        US government officials have passed two more checkpoints on the long, winding road towards a policy for dealing with risky research. That journey was forced into overdrive at the end of 2011, when a government body recommended against publishing two studies showing how a deadly form of avian influenza H5N1 could be made to pass between mammals.

                        Today, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a final framework for vetting specific types of experiments before funding them. The US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) also published a long-awaited draft policy for how scientists and institutions should monitor and report on a wide range of research that malevolent forces could manipulate to do harm. This type of research, called dual-use research of concern (DURC), is fundable if the potential benefits are deemed significant and the risks deemed manageable.

                        Read more...
                        http://blogs.nature.com/news/2013/02...-research.html
                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                          Deadly new bird flu vindicates controversial research

                          <cite class="byline vcard">By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent | Reuters

                          </cite> LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in the Dutch city of Rotterdam know precisely what it takes for a bird flu to mutate into a potential human pandemic strain - because they've created just such mutant viruses in the laboratory.

                          So as they watch with some trepidation the emergence in China of a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans, they also argue it vindicates their controversial decision to conduct these risky experiments despite fierce opposition.

                          Above all else, what the world needs to know about this new strain of H7N9 bird flu is how likely it is to be able to spread efficiently among human populations.
                          And according to Ab Osterhaus, a world leading flu researcher who is head of viroscience of the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, studies his team and another in the United States have been doing are the best way to find out.

                          "At the moment we don't know whether we should go for a full-blown alert or whether we can sit back and say this is just a minor thing," Osterhaus told Reuters in a telephone interview.

                          "(To answer that) we need to know what this virus needs to become transmissible." . . . .

                          link:http://news.yahoo.com/deadly-bird-fl...142717817.html
                          http://novel-infectious-diseases.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                            yes, probability estimates.
                            I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                            my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

                            Comment


                            • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                              the next round of Fouchier experiments can be found here:
                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3604002/
                              But they only report about reassortment experiments of normal H5N1 with human viruses,
                              H5N1 viruses that did not contain the magic 5 mutations.
                              You have to wonder whether they also tried the same thing with new H5N1 including
                              the 5 mutations. It would make more sense, IMO.
                              And then, we have to wonder why we hear nothing about the results of those experiments
                              with manipulated H5N1 ...
                              We urgently need reports now to measure pandemic preparedness levels of Erasmus institute
                              or Dutch government. Whether they increased their Tamiflu stockpile recently or such.
                              And, since those results are still nonpublic, others will presumably try it ....
                              I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                              my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

                              Comment


                              • Re: Man Made H5N1 - Super Version

                                it seems likely to me, that they had also done the same experiments with their
                                mutated H5N1 viruses. That's no big additional effort and they were curious.
                                But then they must have thought that reporting about it at this time would have been
                                not good for their projects.
                                But would they have thought this, if the experiments had yielded no increased transmissiability ?
                                I do see some evidence for increased transmissiability here, simply by them not reporting
                                about mutated-H5N1-experiments.
                                Maybe other researchers can confirm this by not reporting too ...
                                I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
                                my current links: [url]http://bit.ly/hFI7H[/url] ILI-charts: [url]http://bit.ly/CcRgT[/url]

                                Comment

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