Influenza Virus Mashup

Influenza Virus Mashup

[Avian Flu Diary] The NYAS H5N1 Panel

Posted by Automator On February - 4 - 2012

(Fri, 03 Feb 2012 13:53:00 +0000)



# 6117



For those of you who may have missed the fireworks at last night’s New York Academy of Science (NYAS) panel discussion on the benefits and dangers of H5N1 research we’ve a few ways this morning for you to catch up.


The discussion – called  Dual Use Research: H5N1 Influenza Virus and Beyond – was moderated by famed epidemiologist and virus hunter Professor Ian Lipkin, who among his many accomplishments is Director, Center for Infection & Immunity, and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia.

The panel members consisted of:


  • Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and member, NSABB;
  • Laurie Garrett, PhD, Council on Foreign Relations;
  • Barbara R. Jasny, PhD, Science;
  • Veronique Kiermer, PhD, Nature Publishing Group;
  • Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, and member, NSABB;
  • Peter Palese, PhD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine;
  • Vincent Racaniello, PhD, Columbia University;
  • Alan S. Ruldolph, PhD, Defense Threat Reduction Agency.


Anyone suspecting that this would be a dull affair – a stately debate bereft of fire or emotion – would have found their illusions bashed early on.



First stop, science writer Carl Zimmer provides a lengthy recap this morning in his Discover Magazine blog The Loom.


Flu Fighters

February 3rd, 2012 2:26 AM by Carl Zimmer


From the Sydney Morning Herald, we get this account.


Bird flu mutation sparks fears of deadly pandemic

Nick Miller, New York

February 4, 2012



And you can go back and watch the live tweeting of this event on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #NYAS. 


Things will get even more explosive later this month when this debate moves to a small, closed door meeting in Geneva to be hosted by the World Health Organization.


This debate has deeply polarized the scientific, and flu community. Both sides are claiming the moral high ground, and both are able to make good arguments to support their position.



After hearing both sides of this argument for months, I’ve come to the conclusion that anyone who believes there to be an obvious, easy, or guaranteed to be correct solution to to this scientific dilemma, hasn’t fully considered all sides of the issue.

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