Top scientists to Obama: Ban mutation experiments that will make avian flu more infectious
Published time: April 01, 2013 21:39

A group of leading scientists – including a Nobel Prize winner – has proclaimed that it is “ethically and morally” wrong to alter the deadly H5N1 virus to make it more contagious for research purposes, and have asked President Obama to ban it.

“The accidental release of an artificial, laboratory-generated, human-transmissible H5N1 virus into the community has the potential to cause a global pandemic of epic proportions that would dwarf the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed over 50 million people,” read a letter to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

The petition was drafted by the Foundation for Vaccine Research (FVR), a scientific advocacy group, and numbered world-leading biologists among the 17 signatories, including Lord May, the former chief science advisor to the UK government, and Sir Richard Roberts, the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine, for genetics research.

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