Fear of misuse as a lethal bio-terrorism agent has prompted the US government to ask two of the world's leading scientific journals – “Science” and “Nature” – not to publish technical details on the creation of a deadly avian influenza strain which has the potential to transmit easily among human and cause millions of deaths.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity created after the Anthrax scare post 9/11 on Wednesday has asked the editors of the journals to withhold certain technical details showing how an avian influenza virus (H5N1) can wreak havoc among humans.
“Editors at Science are taking very seriously a request by the NSABB to publish only an abbreviated version of a research report related to a strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus, Bruce Alberts, editor in chief of the journal said in a statement.
NSABB emphasised the need to curtail publication of the details of research to ensure that it does not fall into wrong hands.
The deadly genetically altered virus was created Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center and colleagues in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Another team at the University of Wisconsin in Madison came out with comparable results.
Both were funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which backed the censorship.
Emphasis mine. This is the country which accuses other countries of wanting to wage various forms of chemical, and biological warfare at the drop of a hat. 'Wrong hands'? Which country is killing other people day after day through drones, dropping bombs, is holding people without trial for indefinite periods etc? The US? No, can't be. They have their heart in the right place.
Wrong hands indeed.