Flu researchers plan to repeat controversial work

Having made H5N1 transmissible, scientists intend to do the same with H7N9

By Tina Hesman Saey, 15:55 PM August 9, 2013

After stirring up controversy by creating airborne-transmissible versions of one deadly bird flu virus, scientists intend to do it again with another. This time, the experiments will involve H7N9, a new strain of avian influenza that infected 134 people in China this year, killing 43.

The experiments involve mutating the virus or mixing it with other flu viruses to create ones that can do things the existing virus can’t currently do, such as spread through the air from person to person. Inform...

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