18 February 2012, 09:01
Experts delay call on releasing controversial H5N1 work
LONDON. February 18. KAZINFORM Experts have delayed a decision on whether controversial research into the H5N1 bird flu virus should be released.
It had been looking at how the work could be released while guarding against its abuse by bioterrorists.
But talks at the World Health Organization in Geneva decided more discussions were needed to see if it could be possible to publish in full.
One of the two journals which want to publish has already agreed to wait for talks to be complete, BBC News reports.
The controversy is centred on two research papers - one of which was submitted to Science, the other to another leading journal, Nature, last year.
They showed that the H5N1 virus could relatively easily mutate into a form that could spread rapidly among the human population.
The studies prompted the US National Security Advisory Board for Biotechnology (NSABB) to ask both journals last November to redact some sensitive parts of the research, which it believed could be used by terrorists to develop such a virus.
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