Scientists create deadly mutant airborne avian flu
This research, published in the journal Science, is the second of two controversial studies to finally be released that examines how the H5N1 bird flu virus can be genetically altered and transmitted in mammals. Publication of both studies had been delayed many months due to fears that the research could be misused
and become a bio-security threat.
Both Kawaoka and Fouchier's groups created a mutated version of H5N1 that made it easier to transmit from mammal to mammal. They used ferrets because these animals are a good approximation for how viruses behave in humans.
More here: Mutant bird flu would be airborne, scientists say – - CNN.com Blogs
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters that the benefits from the Science study, in terms stimulating ideas and pursuing ways to understand the transmissibility, adaptability and pathogenesis of the virus, outweigh the risks that someone will use the data for nefarious purposes.
"Does that mean that there's no risk? No, of course not. I can't tell you at all
that there's no risk. But the benefits in my mind outweigh the risks," he said.