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A Call for Urgent Talks on Mutant Flu-Strain Research

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The benefits and risks of "gain-of-function" research into highly pathogenic microbes with pandemic potential must be evaluated, scientists say. A group of over 50 researchers has called on the European Commission to hold a scientific briefing on research that involves engineering microbes to make them more deadly.

In a December 18 letter to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, the scientists—including representatives from the non-profit Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington, D.C.—urged the commission to organize the briefing, and to formally evaluate the risks and benefits of such "gain-of-function" research.
 
 

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