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Engineering H5N1 avian influenza viruses to study human adaptation

Nature volume 486, pages 335340 (21 June 2012) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Two studies of H5N1 avian influenza viruses that had been genetically engineered to render them transmissible between ferrets have proved highly controversial. Divergent opinions exist about the importance of these studies of influenza transmission and about potential ‘dual use’ research implications. No consensus has developed yet about how to balance these concerns. After not recommending immediate full publication of earlier, less complete versions of the studies, the United States National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity subsequently recommended full publication of more complete manuscripts; however, controversy about this and similar research remains.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The authors declare no competing financial interests. We thank L. Qi for translation and discussion of a Chinese language publication.

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  1. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA

    • David M. Morens
    • , Kanta Subbarao
    •  & Jeffery K. Taubenberger

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D.M.M., K.S. and J.K.T. jointly co-authored this manuscript.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to David M. Morens.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11170

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