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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Bird Flu Studies Mired In Export Control Law Limbo

• http://www.npr.org, by Nell Greenfieldboyce
 

Scientists who created mutant forms of bird flu want to see their research published, and an influential advisory committee recently gave them the green light after a debate that lasted months.

But one of the manuscripts is now being blocked from publication because of Dutch legal controls on the export of technology that could potentially be used for weapons.

It's just the latest example of how complicated international export control laws have affected the debate over what to do about two studies on bird flu.

The experiments were done in the U. S. and the Netherlands and showed how to make this dangerous virus more contagious. Some people worried that revealing the details would be like publishing the recipe for a bioweapon.

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