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Scientists funded by the federal government to do genetic research have created what many call the most dangerous virus, a super-flu that could kill sixty percent of those infected. Now, in an unprecedented move, a government panel is asking them not to share the details with the world, in fear of the information falling into the hands of terrorists.
Virus, Killer, Dangerous, Ron Fouchier, Doctor, Dr., Government, Erasmus, Medical, Center, Medicine, Health, Wellness, Bird, Avian, Flu, Influenza, H5N1, Contagious, Ferrets, Transmission, Population, Immunity, Percent, Infection, Infectious, Pandemic, Thomas Inglesby, University of Pittsburgh, Science, Nature, Journal, Research, University of Wisconsin, Information, Terrorists, Terrorism, Funding, Genetics, Published, Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health, Images, Microscopic, Censorship
"Government Asks Scientists Not to Share Deadly Virus Information ." Robert Bazell, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 20 Dec. 2011. NBC Learn. Web. 11 January 2020.
Bazell, R. (Reporter), & Williams, B. (Anchor). (2011, December 20). Government Asks Scientists Not to Share Deadly Virus Information . [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=56179
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"Government Asks Scientists Not to Share Deadly Virus Information " NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 12/20/2011. Accessed Sat Jan 11 2020 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=56179
Scientists Told Not to Share Deadly Virus Information
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor:
We mentioned this earlier and we're back now with an update on a scary development we reported here last week. Scientists have created what many call the most dangerous virus possible, and now a government panel is telling them not to share the details of it with the rest of the world. Our report from our Chief Science Correspondent Robert Bazell.
ROBERT BAZELL, reporting:
Dr. Ron Fouchier today told NBC News why, with US funds, he created the new killer virus. "I wanted to see what was possible," he said. What he learned was to take bird flu H5N1, which seldom infects people, and make it highly contagious in ferrets, a model for human transmission. If the virus escaped into the general population, experts estimate few people would have immunity and it would kill 60% of those it infected, creating a horrible pandemic.
Dr. THOMAS INGELSBY (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center): It makes it potentially the most dangerous flu virus that's ever been created in the world.
BAZELL: That's why a panel that advises the US government today took the unprecedented step of asking two major journals, Science and Nature, to remove part of Fouchier's paper and similar research from the University of Wisconsin, taking out critical details so they can't fall into the hands of terrorists.
Dr. INGELSBY: I wish that the work hadn't been done to begin with, but now that we're here, it makes the most sense.
BAZELL: The US funded the research to learn the genetic changes needed for a pandemic, but did not consider how the research would be published. They say this is a lesson learned.
Dr. ANTHONY FAUCI (National Institutes of Health): We'll be taking a closer look at what would happen if scenario A or scenario B came about.
BAZELL: The journals plan to publish the redacted versions in the next few months. But this is one of those extremely rare instances where scientific research, usually open to all, meets concerns about terrorism. Robert Bazell, NBC News, New York.