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TGen-NAU professor leads national panel in precedent-setting policy published in Science and Nature
Date:2/1/2012

gh magnitude."

The NSABB statement was published online today by the prestigious scientific journals Science and Nature. It will be published in print by the journals later this month.

"Our concern is that publishing these experiments in detail would provide information to someone or some organization or government that would help them develop similar mammal-adapted influenza A/H5N1 viruses for harmful purposes," the statement says. "A pandemic or the deliberate release of a transmissible highly pathogenic influenza A/H5N1 virus would be an unimaginable catastrophe for which the world is currently inadequately prepared."

The statement notes that science is in a revolutionary period of dramatically expanded technological capabilities, enabling the increased ability to manipulate the genetic material of microbes.

"With this has come unprecedented potential for better control of infectious diseases and significant societal benefit. However, there is also a growing risk that the same science will be deliberately misused and that the consequences could be catastrophic," says the statement, which calls for a "rapid and broad international discussion of dual use research policy concerning A/H5N1 influenza virus with the goal of developing a consensus on the path forward."


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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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