Are we Engineering a Flu Pandemic?

Avian Flu Virus

At a mid-September influenza conference in Malta, Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, reported that his team had managed to take the avian H5N1 virus (which has high mortality in humans but is difficult to transmit) and engineer it so that it became highly contagious, at least among lab animals. They had in fact engineered a super-bug which, although currently contained in their facility, has the capacity to cause a devastating flu pandemic. In a sort of scientific synchronicity, similar experiments have been reported by Continue reading