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Second of two blocked flu papers released

Research names five mutations making potent H5N1 strain airborne

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2:02pm, June 21, 2012

A controversial research paper banned from publication in 2011 because it contained potentially dangerous information is now available for the world to see.

The study, appearing in the June 22 Science, details experiments in which researchers in the Netherlands created a version of the H5N1 bird flu virus that can be passed through the air from one ferret to another. The H5N1 avian influenza virus currently does not spread between people through coughs or sneezes, but the new work suggests that only a few mutations would be needed to turn H5N1 from a virus that requires close contact into one that could spread through the air.

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