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Scientists Weaponize Deadly Bird Flu, Consider Releasing Results Necessary to Create Bioweapon

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:49 AM
Original message
Scientists Weaponize Deadly Bird Flu, Consider Releasing Results Necessary to Create Bioweapon

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/11/scientists-weaponiz...


It sounds like something out of a bizarre science fiction comic book, but scientists have weaponized the H5N1 bird flu virus, and are actually considering releasing the research.

The experiments, which involved mutating the virus a total of 5 times, made the strain highly contagious between ferrets the very animal model used to study human flu infection.

Of course many scientists are now warning that if such research was made public it could result in the construction of deadly bioweapons.

-snip-

Ron Fouchier says that mutating the virus to become highly contagious is shocking enough, but the fact that some scientists are now pushing for the release of the research is beyond outlandish.

It seems apparent that these scientists have zero regard for public health.
-------------------------

somebodies will pay enough for the research and put it out into the world


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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. It may be outlandish, but hardly the first time a virus has been weaponized this way.
I suppose the argument for releasing the research is that it increases the availability of knowledge for prevention and/or vaccine.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. However, if the product is well described
then other scientists can work on prevention or cures.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's a harsh way to test
the republican health care scheme.
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canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm trying to find a link with more information
Such as which scientists, from where?

Apart from the link you posted which is replicated on many sites, the nearest seemingly true source is this:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/17/142453447/bi...

"In September, one scientist made a stunning announcement. At a flu conference held in Malta, he said he'd done a lab experiment that resulted in bird flu virus becoming highly contagious between ferrets the animal model used to study human flu infection. It seemed that just five mutations did the trick."

Now, this is a long way from 'weaponized' avian flu, which belongs mainly on conspiracy sites not to be mentioned on DU.
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Liberal Veteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. Captain Trips?
Does anyone know a good area of Boulder to live in so I don't have wander in and haggle with Mother Abigail's entourage to get a decent place?
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woodsprite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Hmmm, if there was an "oops", wouldn't Rummy make
a "killing" in his pharmacueticals investments?

Not only the US, but the entire world is nuts.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. I hear Vegas is nice...nt
Sid
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piratefish08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. what could possibly go wrong?
:shrug:
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MattBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. Is there a better source for this claim?
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hifiguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. Who in the blue hell dreams up and funds this kind of shit?
I mean, I am a big Stephen King fan, but I have no desire to live out "The Stand" in real life.
:scared: :yoiks:
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. And then next on the agenda, bubonic plague will be unleashed
in a ruthless bid for world population control.

Seriously, this bio weapon shit is scary stuff though.
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deucemagnet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. This article is overly sensational,
however, it links to an npr article that is more level-headed: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/17/142453447/bi...

I am a microbiologist myself. I assure you that those in my field hold public health in the highest regard, and there is no way in hell that the H5N1 virus was intentionally weaponized. Making mutants, either randomly or by site-directed mutagenesis, is a common way of investigating the virulence factors of pathogens. The researchers in question most likely generated these mutants while investigating virulence factors in an attempt to combat H5N1 infection.

However, publication of this data presents a dilemma that I can identify with. It's "publish or perish", as they say. The funding of a laboratory, the ability to attract quality graduate students and post-docs, and the career of the primary investigator are dependent upon a healthy record of publication in respected journals.

When publication of your results in an open, peer reviewed journal becomes a threat to public health and national security because there are nut jobs out there who would use this information to weaponize the virus, this raises a lot of ethical questions and puts the primary investigator in a difficult position. Should the possibility that this information can be misused preclude its publication? Should specific details be withheld, despite the fact that it will hinder the peer review process? Should we allow the threat of bioterrorism to hinder the peer review process? To hinder investigation of human pathogens? To delay development of treatments or cures?

These are difficult ethical questions. I am glad that I am not in the position of these researchers.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
13. Bioweapons aren't difficult. If someone wants one, they can make one.
If you want it to have the infallible accuracy big military powers aim for, that's a lot harder, but a terrorist weapon to just make a hell of a lot of people sick and kill a few - not hard at all.

The point of the article was that making bird flu much more contagious among humans is an easy job, and sufficient for terrorism.
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. Too much has already been made public -- and should be sufficient to put these 'researchers' ...
on the docket in an ICC trial.

Just the knowledge that a change of only five mutations to the virus could produce this threat to world civilization is too much information to have provided to those who would pay to have a lab try this out.
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