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A dead northern gannet (Morus bassanus) on a beach
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks
Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks

Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.

Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.

H5N1
CDC Reassigns Lab Regulation Chief
Bob Grant | Dec 9, 2015 | 2 min read
After a string of breaches involving anthrax, Ebola, and bird flu, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reportedly replaced the director of its Division of Select Agents and Toxins.
Moratorium on Gain-of-Function Research
Jef Akst | Oct 21, 2014 | 2 min read
In the wake of a handful of biosafety lapses at federal research facilities, the US government is temporarily halting funding for new studies aiming to give novel functions to influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses.
CDC Halts Hazardous Biomaterial Transfers
Tracy Vence | Jul 11, 2014 | 2 min read
Following recent high-profile safety lapses in government labs, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed a moratorium on movement of biological materials from BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities.
First North American H5N1 Death
Abby Olena, PhD | Jan 9, 2014 | 1 min read
A person in Canada has died of the first confirmed human case of H5N1 avian flu in North America.
European Researchers Urge H5N1 Caution
Bob Grant | Jan 2, 2014 | 2 min read
A group of scientists has called on the European Commission to evaluate the risks and benefits of research that could make deadly viruses more transmissible.
H5N1 Vaccine Approved
Jef Akst | Nov 25, 2013 | 2 min read
The US Food and Drug Administration OKs a vaccine against the virus that last year had the scientific community debating the regulation of deadly pathogen research.
Week in Review: August 5–9
Jef Akst | Aug 9, 2013 | 5 min read
Flu researchers propose H7N9 studies; NIH makes deal to share HeLa genome; herbal “remedies” can cause cancer; scientists record grid cell activity in humans
The Next Big One
Mary Beth Aberlin | Jun 1, 2013 | 3 min read
As new infections surface and spread, science meets the challenges with ingenuity and adaptation.
Easy Jump for H5N1 from Bird to Mammal
Ruth Williams | May 2, 2013 | 3 min read
Hybrid viruses derived from an H5N1 bird flu strain can infect guinea pigs through the air.
Bird Flu Research to Resume
Dan Cossins | Jan 24, 2013 | 2 min read
After a year-long voluntary moratorium to discuss regulations and safety measures, scientists are set to resume controversial H5N1 research.
Special Review for H5N1 Grants?
Jef Akst | Dec 4, 2012 | 2 min read
The National Institutes of Health reveals a controversial plan to regulate the funding of H5N1 research.
Death Match
Jef Akst | Oct 1, 2012 | 4 min read
Cockfighting and other cultural practices in Southeast Asia could greatly aid the spread of deadly diseases like bird flu.
Speaking of Science
The Scientist | Sep 1, 2012 | 2 min read
September 2012's selection of notable quotes
Five Mutations Make H5N1 Airborne
Sabrina Richards | Jun 21, 2012 | 4 min read
The second of the two controversial bird flu papers is published in Science, revealing that just five mutations can render the virus transmissible between ferrets.
Rapid Bird Flu Test
Cristina Luiggi | Jun 4, 2012 | 1 min read
New PCR assay can detect more than 40 strains of H5N1 in a single go.
Bird Flu Transmission in Mammals
Ruth Williams | May 2, 2012 | 3 min read
After much ado, Nature publishes the first report of a bird flu virus adapted for transmission in ferrets.
Extended H5N1 Moratorium?
Cristina Luiggi | Apr 30, 2012 | 2 min read
A US science official recommends extending moratorium on bird flu studies as well as other types of risky research.
Publish H5N1 Papers, Says US Gov’t
Jef Akst | Apr 23, 2012 | 1 min read
The NIH agrees with the government advisory board’s recommendation to publish both controversial bird flu studies in full.
White House Weighs in on H5N1
Jef Akst | Apr 18, 2012 | 1 min read
Science adviser John Holdren speaks out about how the Presidential Administration is handling the controversial research that rendered avian flu transmissible between ferrets.
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