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WHO States H5N1 Bird Flu Data to Stay Secret

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that the moratorium on publishing controversial H5N1 research would temporarily remain in place.  At issue is the release of two studies that show how scientists mutated H5N1 bird flu, information which could potentially help bioterrorists engineer a human pandemic virus.

The decision was reached following a WHO meeting in Geneva this week intended to broker a deal between the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) and the scientists who studied the mutations that would allow the transmission of H5N1 between mammals.  The parties agreed in principle to publish the scientific works after a more thorough risk analysis. The official WHO press release is available here.

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