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NSABB Withdraws H5N1 Publication Objections
Recombinomics Commentary 22:15
March 30, 2012

A panel of U.S. biosecurity experts is withdrawing its objections to the publication of two controversial bird flu studies.

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity says after reviewing revised versions of the studies it is recommending they can be published in full.
The board voted unanimously to clear for publication a study by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The committee voted 12 to 6 on the second study, done by Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier.

The above comments indicate the NSABB has withdrawn its objections to the studies withheld at Nature and Science.  Although the initial objection came after a similar study by the CDC  had already been published in Virology, and Ron Fouchier had presented his data at a scientific meeting, the NSABB raised concerns that the new publications represented a recipe for turning H5N1 into a potent (but uncontrollable) bioweapon.

However, as more detail was released via media reports, the recipes, and relationship to the published recipe became clear, and there was no scientific basis for objections, since all key details had already been made public.

The NSABB is congratulated on its decision.

However the scientific understanding of the six who voted for redactions in the Science paper is in need of careful review.

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