WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have genetically engineered bird flu so it can spread easily between mammals — work necessary to prepare in case the dangerous virus ever mutates on its own and spreads from person-to-person. Now the U.S. government is asking those researchers not to publish the details in scientific journals.
There's worry that the exact recipe could enable bioterrorism. So the government's biosecurity advisers reviewed the research by Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin. The National Institutes of Health, which funded the research, said Tuesday that researchers are making changes — but that it's important for the overall findings to be published.
NIH science policy director Dr. Amy Patterson told The Associated Press that will help scientists better monitor bird flu's natural evolution and create treatments.