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Science: Default Position Is to Publish H5N1 Research Quickly in Full Form

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The editor of a leading scientific journal has said he is prepared to publish full details of controversial research into the bird flu virus, unless progress is made on how to circulate details of the findings to scientists.

The World Health Organization is expected to announce later its view of how to circulate the research safely to scientists studying the H5N1 virus in humans.

Dr Bruce Alberts, editor of Science, was asked by US security advisers not to publish parts of the work because of concerns it could help terrorists to develop a biological weapon.

But he says it is important to get the research out quickly to scientists and health officials monitoring the virus.

Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver, he said: "Our position is that, in the absence of any mechanism to get the information to those scientists and health officials who need to know and need to protect their populations and to design new treatments and vaccines, our default position is that we have to publish in compete form."
 
 

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