Considered to be one of the most dangerous swine flu viruses in existence, the H5N1 lab studies were published in scientific journals, prompting concerns from world citizens and some officials. According to reports, the virus is capable of potentially killing off half of the human population, as it has been manufactured in a lab and has achieved airborne capabilities, making it very easy to spread and equally as deadly because no vaccine exists to date.
US government officials have asked the journals to redact information pertaining to H5N1 in the hopes of preventing it from being acquired by rogue states or terror organizations.
The unpublished studies, in the hands of the journals Science and Nature, reveal how Dutch and American research teams managed to mutate the H5N1 avian flu virus to the point where it became highly transmissible in ferrets, which are considered the best predictor of how flu viruses might behave in humans.
The U.S. government asked the journals to publish only brief reports of the results of the work on the advice of its biosecurity advisers, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. The biosecurity board looks at so-called dual use research: science that is done for legitimate reasons, but which could be used for bioterrorism.
The request is non-binding; the U.S. government does not have the power to block the publications.
Source: CBC News
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