Avian Bird Flu, New Strains of the Flu Virus: Let’s Fight
Global Pandemics by Maybe Starting One?By
Global Research, June 26, 2019
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 23 May 2019
Feed a cold, starve a fever … mutate the flu?
A couple of labs in Wisconsin and The Netherlands have been given the
green light to do controversial work with a deadly strain of avian flu
that kills two thirds of the people it infects.
The scientific community and US government declared a moratorium on
the experiments in 2014. Why? Because the virus has generally been
confined to birds, and these labs are trying to make it transmissible to
mammals. On purpose.
The researchers say making new strains of the H5N1 flu virus in a secure
lab can help them see what might happen naturally in the real world.
Sounds logical, but many scientists oppose it because the facts show most
aren’t really secure at all, and experts say the risks of a mutated
virus escaping outweigh whatever public health benefit comes from
But now the US government is funding these same labs again to
artificially enhance potentially pandemic pathogens.
In this installment of the Bulletin’s video series that
provides a sharp view of fuzzy policy, Johns Hopkins University
computational biologist Steven Salzberg explains why arguments by
researchers in favor of risky viral research aren’t persuasive.
Thomas Gaulkin is multimedia editor of the Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists. Joining the Bulletin in 2018, he spent the previous
decade working in communications at the University of Chicago, first for
the Centers for International Studies and International Social Science
Research, and later as Director of News and Online Content for the
Division of the Social Sciences. From 1999-2002 and again in 2006 Gaulkin
produced Worldview, Chicago Public Radio’s daily global affairs program.
He received a BA with honors in political science from the University of
U.S. Lifts the Ban on Funding “The Creation of Lethal Viruses”
The original source of this article is
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2019
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