Scientists ponder bird flu findings

March 13, 2006
Bird Flu

Avian flu fears have scientists trying to determine how bird flu spreads, and one Italian researcher says that information should be given to the public.

The dilemma is apparently as widespread as are fears of a pandemic. The World Health Organization urges nations to share bird-flu data but limits access to its database concerning avian flu. That database reportedly contains 2,300 genetic sequences of the virus -- approximately one-third of the world's known sequences, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

But Italian scientist Ilaria Capua, director of the Italian Veterinary Institute, has ignored the WHO.

Capua, last month, received a sample from Nigerian officials of the virus that caused the first confirmed case of bird flu in Africa. Instead of entering the information into the secret WHO's database, as WHO officials urged her to do, Capua posted the data on the Internet.

Capua's action has spurred a controversy in the scientific community, but she says one person who supports her action is Nancy Cox, chief of the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Capua says she received a personal note from Cox that said, "I applaud your decision."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.