Chinese rules stymie flu scientist

New regulations enforce stringent agriculture ministry control over research on H5N1 samples

Katherine Schlatter(kmschlatter@asiabioscience.com)
Jul 5, 2005

A leading Hong Kong virologist researching the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza told The Scientist this week that new regulations from China's Ministry of Agriculture will prevent him investigating the virus.

"They are trying to stop me, trying to stop my investigation," said Guan Yi, a University of Hong Kong researcher whose group published a paper in Nature today (July 6) describing the latest sequence data isolated from dead geese near Qinghai Lake in western China.

Guan works at the University of Hong Kong's department of microbiology, and also runs the Joint Influenza Research Center at Shantou University, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

It's that second lab, a collaborative institute between Guangdong and Hong Kong, that Guan is concerned about. He says its work will be stymied by new rules concerning the collection, storage, and research of serum samples from dead birds. The rules, first announced...

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