Scientists working at the Joint Influenza Research Centre of Shantou University and the University of Hong Kong are eager to restart H5N1 research but are still waiting for permission from China's Ministry of Agriculture, a leading investigator told The Scientist.

"We all want to continue this very important research in Shantou," Yuen Kwok-yung, the head of the University of Hong Kong's microbiology department, told The Scientist on Monday. Research into the avian influenza strain at the center's Shantou laboratory had been suspended after its director Guan Yi, a University of Hong Kong virologist, was told his investigation was in violation of biosafety laws recently implemented by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

Yuen said that, in his view, Guan had met all necessary biosafety requirements and the lab's work did not constitute a biosafety hazard. "He was definitely not violating the law; remember that they have always been working according...

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