Biomedical experiments and public safety

Biomedical experiments and public safety

A government advisory board is calling for scientists to withhold details of biomedical experiments relating to a bird flu virus. Diane and guests talk about balancing the right to know with security concerns.

Two leading scientific journals have been asked not to publish details of research into the deadly bird flu virus. The research involved creating a highly transmissible version of H5N1. The scientists hope to gain valuable data that could lead to a vaccine. But the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity said the experiments, if made public, could be used by bioterrorists. Their decision raises many questions – including should the scientists have created the deadly new variation in the first place. Join us to discuss whether publishing research into virulent diseases is a threat or a benefit to public health.


Dr. Anthony Fauci

director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH.

Ruth Faden

Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics;

Dr. Michael Osterholm

Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and Director of the NIH-sponsored Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance

Board member, National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity

Bruce Alberts

Science editor-in-chief

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