New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is rising

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Re: This Just in

Post by bigmattdaddywack » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:36 pm

shrapnel wrote:To... study what various mutations do, and how said mutations can change transmission of whatever nasty mutation science (or nature) can concoct? Like, you can learn what differentiates really really nasty influenza and 'normal' influenza, and maybe figure out a better way to counteract it. See this rather good article on the subject, that tries to clear up some of the misconceptions (like, they didn't engineer it in some dastardly scientific manner, they basically infected animals and let nature, with all its random mutation and natural selection, do the work for them, in a controlled, experimental fashion). Basically, this influenza? Is a thing that could easily happen in nature, all on its own. Since we managed to create it in a lab, first, we can get a head start on figuring out how best to counteract the particularly virulent strain of influenza. Obviously it could be used for nefarious purposes, and I'm sure they are figuring out how best to release the information that led to creating the strain in a responsible manner, but we really can learn things from this.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/ ... tural-way/
http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/12/sci ... -scary.php
Yeah I know but Jesus that is scary as shit. They made it and studied it already, they should destroy it now.
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Re: This Just in

Post by shrapnel » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:41 pm

No, they made it, and we learned some stuff (like how easily mutations can happen in vivo, that there's a reasonable chance of this happening out in the real world) and now we can learn how to make a vaccine, how the virus mutated and at what points, and so forth.
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Re: This Just in

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:43 pm

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

So, we made another doomsday virus...and like everythign else, we're going to pack it down in a bunker somewhere and send a Private First-Class to guard it.
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Re: This Just in

Post by chills1994 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:55 pm

well, that would certainly reduce unemployment...and bring the social security program back into financial solvency.
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Re: This Just in

Post by Mister Dark » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:58 pm

This was covered on NPR a few weeks ago. Even though CDC and the pertinent governments are clamping a lid on the research, Pandora's box is open. Any midlevel bioresearch facility can probably now engineer Bird Flu to whatever potency level they want. Kind of like the Manhattan project - once it was proven it COULD be done, everyone else could build their own bombs relatively easily.

Of course, now that they have one potential mutation mapped out, the bio-guys can design a vaccine. Against this particular variant. Follow the same steps, and you may get a different outcome.

Only a matter of time.

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Re: This Just in

Post by crypto » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:00 pm

How many threads are we going to have about this?
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Re: This Just in

Post by phil_in_cs » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:08 pm

crypto wrote:How many threads are we going to have about this?

Covered in the bird flu thread as well.
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by phil_in_cs » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:33 pm

And Hong Kong is killing 17k chickens after 3 were found to have H5N1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16280698" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by thesupremeking » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:59 am

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/details-l ... 55927.html

Scientists have successfully created a bird flu strain that can easily jump from human to human. GOOD IDEA! :shock:
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by Liff » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:07 pm

thesupremeking wrote:http://finance.yahoo.com/news/details-l ... 55927.html

Scientists have successfully created a bird flu strain that can easily jump from human to human. GOOD IDEA! :shock:
It really is a good idea, in a way.

Now we know exactly what the exact strain looks like, so making a vaccine would be easy.

The flu kills thousands of Americans every year. This is just a favorite topic for people to get scared about. I just don't care anymore about the flu; seasonal, swine, or bird. When bird-ebola starts to show up, then I might start to worry.

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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by thesupremeking » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:11 pm

Liff wrote:
thesupremeking wrote:http://finance.yahoo.com/news/details-l ... 55927.html

Scientists have successfully created a bird flu strain that can easily jump from human to human. GOOD IDEA! :shock:
It really is a good idea, in a way.

Now we know exactly what the exact strain looks like, so making a vaccine would be easy.

The flu kills thousands of Americans every year. This is just a favorite topic for people to get scared about. I just don't care anymore about the flu; seasonal, swine, or bird. When bird-ebola starts to show up, then I might start to worry.

Not to sound TOO MUCH like a conspiracy theorist, but its not like our gov hasn't purposely let virus' out before. :shock:
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by andygates » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:10 pm

Yeah but this work isn't particularly innovative (which is what scares the ZOMGALQAEDA-fear folks) - so the Black Helicopter department probably did it themselves decades ago. ;)
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by Old_Man » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:22 am

As I heard one of the docs that sits on the NSABB (National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity ) say…'due to the number of rapid mutations, we should worry more about what nature can generate than some mad scientist.'

This doesn't surprise me. As the human population continues to expand, and science continues to develop ways to defeat nature's population controls, nature will try harder to knock us down a rung or 2. Of course the one natural control we seem to always fall prey to (other than stupid human tricks) is warfare. As the population gets larger I would expect this to be the main threat.

blurb on NSABB
http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/about_nsabb.html

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New Developments in Bird Flu (Weaponized)

Post by EODguy » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:10 pm

Bird Flu H5N1 has just gotten serious! Traditional strains of H5N1 had a low R-naught factor, in other words it was not easily spreadable from human to human, while doing research, they have developed a new strain with a significant R-naught factor that would allow it to be much more easily transferable. With a much higher R-naught factor, and a 60% mortality rate, I'm a little worried!

Fearing weaponized H5N1, U.S. security officials move to censor research

A panel of U.S. biosecurity officials is asking investigators to keep some of their new research on bird flu under wraps, fearing that terrorists could use the information on the infectious disease to develop a devastating new weapon. Bird flu once raised alarms around the planet, spurring governments to stockpile vaccines as fears spread of a potential human pandemic. But the fears were never realized as the dread H5N1 virus never evolved to the point that it could spread among humans easily.

Now scientists at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, have figured out how to tweak the virus so that it could potentially cause a global outbreak, and the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity wants to keep some of that recipe under lock and key, excluding the information from a published report. The editors at Science are pondering how to respond.
"In the laboratory, it was possible to change H5N1 into an aerosol transmissible virus that can easily be rapidly spread through the air," Dutch scientist Ron Fouchier tells Bloomberg. "This process could also take place in a natural setting."There's nothing unusual or suspect about the work itself. Scientists often study viruses to see how they could evolve, gaining important insights on how new viral threats can be avoided. There's been a significant amount of discussion about whether militant groups have the scientific know-how to weaponize a virus like H5N1.

http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/fear ... 2011-12-21" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: New Developments in Bird Flu (Weaponized)

Post by phil_in_cs » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:38 pm

posted several times, though I forgive you since you are the only one that posted a title saying what the hell the thread was about. All the others were titled something like "oh noes" or "can you believe this" or other stupidity.

locked, see main bird flu thread for details on this.
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by EODguy » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:13 am

New Developments in Bird Flu (Weaponized)
by EODguy » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:10 pm

Bird Flu H5N1 has just gotten serious! Traditional strains of H5N1 had a low R-naught factor, in other words it was not easily spreadable from human to human, while doing research, they have developed a new strain with a significant R-naught factor that would allow it to be much more easily transferable. With a much higher R-naught factor, and a 60% mortality rate, I'm a little worried!

Fearing weaponized H5N1, U.S. security officials move to censor research

A panel of U.S. biosecurity officials is asking investigators to keep some of their new research on bird flu under wraps, fearing that terrorists could use the information on the infectious disease to develop a devastating new weapon. Bird flu once raised alarms around the planet, spurring governments to stockpile vaccines as fears spread of a potential human pandemic. But the fears were never realized as the dread H5N1 virus never evolved to the point that it could spread among humans easily.

Now scientists at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, have figured out how to tweak the virus so that it could potentially cause a global outbreak, and the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity wants to keep some of that recipe under lock and key, excluding the information from a published report. The editors at Science are pondering how to respond.
"In the laboratory, it was possible to change H5N1 into an aerosol transmissible virus that can easily be rapidly spread through the air," Dutch scientist Ron Fouchier tells Bloomberg. "This process could also take place in a natural setting."There's nothing unusual or suspect about the work itself. Scientists often study viruses to see how they could evolve, gaining important insights on how new viral threats can be avoided. There's been a significant amount of discussion about whether militant groups have the scientific know-how to weaponize a virus like H5N1.

http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/fear" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 2011-12-21
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by buck85 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:24 am

interesting thread
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by Bonecrusher Doc » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:48 pm

stay up to date... though these guys probably just get their info from Google News :lol:
http://www.internationalsos.com/pandemi ... atID=1&l=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by GP11 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm

andygates wrote:Yeah but this work isn't particularly innovative (which is what scares the ZOMGALQAEDA-fear folks) - so the Black Helicopter department probably did it themselves decades ago. ;)
I read a book a while back by a Soviet defector who was high up in their bioweapons program. Some of the stuff the USSR was doing was extremely scary, and that was 30 years ago. It's completely terrifying to me to think what could be done with today's molecular biology techniques (an area I have a good bit of expertise in), and with far less infrastructure than the Soviets were working with.
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by andygates » Wed May 02, 2012 2:39 pm

And the DEATH FLU paper is published. Analysis on the science blogs:

Nature: Publishing Risky Research

Scientific American: Mutant-Flu Paper Published

...and so on.
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed May 02, 2012 2:49 pm

andygates wrote:Scientific American: Mutant-Flu Paper Published
they approve.....
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by Ableto » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:54 pm

Update, The bird flu has mutated and infected seals

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/scien ... .html?_r=1
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by Valarius » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:40 am

From the above article:
In September 2011, beachgoers noticed dead seal pups on New Hampshire beaches. “Surfers were surfing into seals floating in the water,” said Katie Pugliares, a senior biologist with the New England Aquarium’s rescue program.

Unlike typical seal cadavers, the seals were not malnourished, suggesting they had died suddenly.

An examination of tissues from the seals pointed to a respiratory infection. To identify the pathogen, tissue samples from five pups were sent to the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. Simon Anthony, a postdoctoral researcher at the center, led a search for viral genes in the tissue.

Within 24 hours, Dr. Anthony and his colleagues had discovered that all five seals carried an influenza virus. There have been a few documented flu outbreaks in seals, the most recent having hit in 1992. As far as scientists can tell, these outbreaks came directly from birds; the virus could not spread from mammal to mammal.

Within another 24 hours, the researchers had determined that the virus was a strain of the flu never seen in seals. The virus belongs to a flu subtype known as H3N8. H3N8 viruses have crossed over from birds to dogs and horses several times since 1960.

Dr. Anthony and his colleagues found flu genes at high concentrations in the lining of the seals’ airways. From such evidence, the scientists concluded that H3N8, no innocent bystander, had killed the seals.
Certainly alarming. But we've got pretty amazing immune systems that other mammals don't.
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Re: New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is ris

Post by duodecima » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:10 pm

Valarius wrote:From the above article:
In September 2011, beachgoers noticed dead seal pups on New Hampshire beaches. “Surfers were surfing into seals floating in the water,” said Katie Pugliares, a senior biologist with the New England Aquarium’s rescue program.

Unlike typical seal cadavers, the seals were not malnourished, suggesting they had died suddenly.

An examination of tissues from the seals pointed to a respiratory infection. To identify the pathogen, tissue samples from five pups were sent to the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. Simon Anthony, a postdoctoral researcher at the center, led a search for viral genes in the tissue.

Within 24 hours, Dr. Anthony and his colleagues had discovered that all five seals carried an influenza virus. There have been a few documented flu outbreaks in seals, the most recent having hit in 1992. As far as scientists can tell, these outbreaks came directly from birds; the virus could not spread from mammal to mammal.

Within another 24 hours, the researchers had determined that the virus was a strain of the flu never seen in seals. The virus belongs to a flu subtype known as H3N8. H3N8 viruses have crossed over from birds to dogs and horses several times since 1960.

Dr. Anthony and his colleagues found flu genes at high concentrations in the lining of the seals’ airways. From such evidence, the scientists concluded that H3N8, no innocent bystander, had killed the seals.
Certainly alarming. But we've got pretty amazing immune systems that other mammals don't.
This is as scary as flu usually is but not more. Flu mutates all the time and sometimes when it does it can jump species. (Don't get me wrong, flu is scary!) But it's not the H5N1 strain aka "avian flu" that for the moment looks like the next big threat.
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