Author Topic: Plans to make bird flu virus more virulent(H7N9)  (Read 979 times)

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Offline kelee877

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Plans to make bird flu virus more virulent(H7N9)
« on: August 24, 2013, 06:19:06 AM »
This is a couple of weeks old,but it is very important in case there is a pandemic and we wonder where it came from...what better way for TPTB to take control over the people in SHTF...start a pandemic




Scientists say genetically modifying the H7N9 virus in the lab will help drive efforts to develop pandemic drugs and vaccines

Scientists have unveiled plans to genetically engineer a lethal strain of bird flu to understand how it could mutate in nature and trigger a catastrophic pandemic.

The H7N9 bird flu virus has infected more than 130 people and killed 43 since it emerged in China in March. The first strong evidence that the virus can spread from person to person appeared in the British Medical Journal this week.

While the closure of poultry markets has brought the outbreak under control, researchers fear infections may rise again in the winter.

As long as the virus is in circulation, it can transform into a strain that is more dangerous, through natural mutations or by mixing with other strains of bird flu in animals such as cattle and pigs.

Scientists outlined their plans to work with the virus in joint letters to the journals Nature and Science on August 7, 2013. The 22 signatories include Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Work by the scientists on another strain of bird flu sparked security fears last year.

The controversial experiments are expected to make the H7N9 virus more virulent and increase its ability to spread between people. But researchers argue the work is crucial for public health because it will drive research into drugs and vaccines, and help identify dangerous mutations to watch out for in the wild.

“The pandemic risk rises exponentially should these viruses acquire the ability to transmit readily among humans,” the authors write. They go on to describe a raft of experiments that should reveal how the virus might adapt to humans, spread more rapidly, become more virulent and develop resistance to frontline drugs.

Scientists already track mutations in bird flu viruses found in patients, but this kind of surveillance does not give health authorities time to respond if they find a pandemic strain. The proposed experiments should give scientists early warning of the kinds of mutations that could spark a pandemic.

The work will be done in high-security laboratories to minimise the risk of the modified viruses escaping and causing precisely the kind of devastation the research aims to prevent.

In 2012, the U.S. government’s biosecurity watchdog raised the alarm over similar work on another bird flu virus called H5N1. The panel feared that details of the experiments by Dr. Fouchier and Prof. Kawaoka could help terrorists create lethal viruses as bioweapons.

Their papers were eventually published, but tougher review procedures have since been brought in by U.S. authorities on “dual use research”, along with updated guidelines to ensure the work is done under tight security.

Dr. Fouchier told the Guardian that he and the other scientists announced their plans to be as open as possible about their research. Much of the work can continue under European funding without further scrutiny.

Wendy Barclay, a virologist at Imperial College London, said it would be “ludicrous” not to do the experiments. “They allow us to see how the virus might evolve and what we can expect from nature,” she said. “This type of work is like fitting glasses for someone who can’t see well — without the glasses the vision is blurred and uncertain, with them you can focus on the world and deal with it a lot more easily.”


http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/medicine-and-research/plans-to-make-bird-flu-virus-more-virulent/article5003247.ece?homepage=true

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In loving memory of my son Chris April 12 1985-June 19 2007

Offline kelee877

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Re: Plans to make bird flu virus more virulent(H7N9)
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 06:23:35 AM »
Scientists to make mutant forms of new bird flu to assess risk

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists are to create mutant forms of the H7N9 bird flu virus that has emerged in China so they can gauge the risk of it becoming a lethal human pandemic.

The genetic modification work will to result in highly transmissible and deadly forms of H7N9 being made in several high security laboratories around the world, but it is vital to prepare for the threat, the scientists say.

The new bird flu virus, which was unknown in humans until February, has already infected at least 133 people in China and Taiwan, killing 43 of them, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) data.

Announcing plans to start the controversial experiments, leading virologists Ron Fouchier and Yoshihiro Kawaoka said H7N9's pandemic risk would rise "exponentially" if it gained the ability to spread easily among people.

And the only way to find out how likely that is, and how many genetic changes would need to take place before it could happen, is to engineer those mutations in laboratory conditions and test the virus's potential using animal models, they said.

"It's clear this H7N9 virus has some hallmarks of pandemic viruses, and it's also clear it is still missing at least one or two of the hallmarks we've seen in the pandemic viruses of the last century," Fouchier told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"So the most logical step forward is to put in those (missing) mutations first."

more at link

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/scientists-mutant-forms-bird-flu-assess-risk-170234059.html

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In loving memory of my son Chris April 12 1985-June 19 2007