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

Explore further: The life-saving treatment that's being thrown in the trash

Related Stories

The life-saving treatment that's being thrown in the trash

March 28, 2017

A few hours before beginning chemotherapy, a man named Chris faces his cellphone camera with a mischievous smile and describes a perfectly absurd milestone at 1.37pm on a Wednesday. "There is no more beautiful moment in a ...

Recommended for you

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

January 20, 2018

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments - such as ...

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

January 19, 2018

Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency ...

Team takes a deep look at memristors

January 19, 2018

In the race to build a computer that mimics the massive computational power of the human brain, researchers are increasingly turning to memristors, which can vary their electrical resistance based on the memory of past activity. ...

Fast computer control for molecular machines

January 19, 2018

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes ...

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.