Jul 18, 2014 — The mishaps mean federal scientists need to "take a hard look" at all federal research on deadly pathogens and make sure, in each case, that the benefits justify risks, says Dr. Tom Frieden.
Apr 10, 2014 — Researchers ignited a debate three years ago when they changed a deadly flu virus so that it could spread between people. Only five mutations are needed to turn the virus into a pandemic threat.
Aug 8, 2013 — The proposed studies would essentially create a recipe for a more contagious bird flu. Some scientists worry these viruses could escape the lab and possibly kill millions. But others think the information gleaned from the experiments is critical for keeping H7N9 from becoming a global threat.
Feb 21, 2013 — In early 2012, experiments that made H5N1 bird flu more contagious caused an uproar. People feared that mutant viruses could escape the lab and kill people. To prevent a repeat, the government has unveiled a policy describing how scientists should study dangerous pathogens and toxins.
Jan 23, 2013 — After researchers created versions of the bird flu virus that could spread more easily, critics began to worry that the work could spawn a pandemic if a virus escaped from the lab. After halting their work for more than a year, scientists now say the benefits outweigh the risks, and they are set to restart their experiments.
Dec 31, 2012 — When scientists figured out how to make the deadly H5N1 virus more contagious, a debate ignited about whether to publish the research and do more experiments. Over the past year, scientists published the contentious work, but they still can't agree on the field's future.
Dec 19, 2012 — Scientists recently sparked controversy when they made dangerous new forms of bird flu. The National Institutes of Health is about to put in place a new system for reviewing this kind of work in the future.
Dec 18, 2012 — On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments. Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu, because critics argued that the work was too dangerous.
Oct 16, 2012 — The Department of Health and Human Services' request for comments comes after some have criticized officials for not having enough public discussion about the controversial H5N1 viruses, which were created in the lab to find out if they could mutate and start a pandemic in people.
Oct 9, 2012 — Because of fears that lab-altered bird flu viruses could cause a deadly pandemic if they ever escaped the lab, scientists agreed to a moratorium on mutant H5N1 flu research eight months ago. Now top scientists in the field continue the debate about the work, publishing six commentaries for and against the end of the moratorium.