Researchers tinker with bird flu : Are enough safeguard in the place ?

There’s a new study on Asian bird flu that have prompted debate whether there’s enough safeguard in place. A study involving a genetically modified flu virus has put a spotlight on calls for tighter international oversight of biomedical research whose bugs pose a high risk of global disease outbreak if released accidentally.
It is one studies that being debate how to censore research results to avoid publishing details that could make it easier for countries or individual to increase a virus’s ability to spread among organisms it currently can’t infect.

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The study aimed to answer the question :-

– How radically would a virus that scientists have linked to Asian bird flu need to evolve in order to readily spread among humans, something it rarely does now?

The virus’s has potential to spread among humans is of keen interst to public-health officials. The WHO has recorded 600 cases involving the Asian bird flu virus in humans and nearly 60 % were fatal. This show that the consequences could eclipse those of a global flu pandemic in 1918, a touchstone event in the annals of infectious disease.
The pandemic is estimated to have killed between 20 million and 50 million people worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Understanding the potential for such genetic mutations in the virus, which can evolve rapidly, could help scientists spot a more virulent form early and point to vaccines and other treatments tailored to halt its spread, the study’s researchers say.
Much of the debate surrounding the papers has focused less on whether such work should be done and more on safeguards during the work and access to the details.

Source :- CSIMonitor

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