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Paper On Super Flu Strain May Be Banned From Publication

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the secret-dolphin-plot-to-overthrow-opressors dept.

Medicine 754

Pierre Bezukhov writes with this excerpt from an article at Doctor Tipster: "A Dutch researcher has created a virus with the potential to kill half of the planet's population. Now, researchers and experts in bioterrorism debate whether it is a good idea to publish the virus creation 'recipe'. However, several voices argue that such research should have not happened in the first place. The virus is a strain of avian influenza H5N1 genetically modified to be extremely contagious ... created by researcher Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands. The work was first presented at a conference dedicated to influenza that took place in September in Malta."

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Peh. (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197320)

Someone has probably already crafted a similar version in a distant private or military research lab anyway. Its better that it got out and fixes are prepared.

Re:Peh. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197352)

If it got out the 'fix' may be natural selection.

Re:Peh. (4, Insightful)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197388)

Agreed. This merely shows the rest of us that not only CAN it be done, but that it HAS been done and certainly CAN be done in the future!

Hiding the information just gives those who want to keep it all for themselves more time to do awful things.

Re:Peh. (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197640)

Oh noes, some big scary over-hyped disease like swine or bird flu that kills like 5 people but drives the point home that we really, really need our government and medical providers to subsidize big pharma and stockpile(and, scarily, mandate) vaccines, all for the children.

Or perhaps you all should put down the Lysol and hand-sanitizer and let your kids out of the plastic bubbles to play in the fucking mud every once in awhile. That's how they get an immune system. I haven't been vaccinated in 10 years. In that time span, I never got sick from anything other than a hangover.

Re:Peh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197658)

Then you can be thankful for the herd immunity that your more sensible peers are providing.

Re:Peh. (2)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197410)

Surely they have. Governments are usually far ahead of the curve when it's devising ways to kill people, if only then.

It's (going to be) like The Stand.

Re:Peh. (-1, Offtopic)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197478)

just without a Judea christian god pushing a bunch of nobodies to a neo-las veges(forgetting that they have no one keeping the water flowing) where they can witness the same god picking up a nuke and wiping it off the map. like some new Sodom and gemora.

Re:Peh. (1, Offtopic)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197466)

I wonder what effect this will have on the Doomsday Clock [thebulletin.org] ?

Re:Peh. (1, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197690)

on an off topic: wtf has the doomsday clock got to do with climate change? did they just have to jump on the global warming band wagon? they're bloody atomic scientists, not hippies. Same goes for biosecurity

Re:Peh. (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197562)

So just because some (likely stable) government has it, we should give it to all comers? That's absolutely insane. Distrust the US government all you want, but they are far less likely to release a superflu into the wild than some random nutjob with a biology degree and an axe to grind.

Re:Peh. (5, Insightful)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197688)

Three words: Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

Re:Peh. (4, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197602)

I agree, obfuscation is not security.

Wait...did I post this in the right topic??

Cost of controlling the damage (3, Interesting)

spmkk (528421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197604)

Its better that it got out and fixes are prepared.

Sure - AS LONG AS the "fixes" (e.g. antidote or vaccine) are engineered, produced and ready for distribution BEFORE such info gets out.

Moreover, if you're going to take the prerogative of developing a bioweapon with the capability of causing mass casualties, it's also your responsibility to secure funding for inoculating or treating everyone affected. Just recently there was an outcry here [slashdot.org] about the government spending $433M on smallpox treatment in the event of an outbreak. If this is as dangerous as they claim, the treatment cost would be orders of magnitude higher than that. The UN will inevitably come to Washington cap in hand, but we're broke. Who's going to pay for it?

Versions may not be equivalent (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197616)

Someone has probably already crafted a similar version in a distant private or military research lab anyway. Its better that it got out and fixes are prepared.

Actually various independently crafted versions may be different enough that a "cure" for one is ineffective against another.

So... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197326)

...that is what will happen to the 99%

Re:So... (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197774)

...that is what will happen to the 99%

That's ok, because we already know what happens to the 1% [angryflower.com] .

Solution to these problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197328)

Bring on the ARM.

What could possibly go wrong? (5, Funny)

bradorsomething (527297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197342)

Dr. Fouchier could not be reached at his volcano-based research facility for comment.

The (2)

Konster (252488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197344)

The zombie apocalypse awaits.

Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (-1, Redundant)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197356)

"Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger..."

Counterpoint (5, Insightful)

ugglybabee (2435320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197394)

"Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger..."

Whatever kills us, makes us dead.

Re:Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197408)

Unless it cripples us. People always forget about the cripples.

Re:Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197592)

Exactly. And being crippled is much much worse than being dead. Because you get to suffer the whole damn rest of your life, and can't do shit about it.

Re:Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197712)

Until we're fitted with bio-mechanical replacements that give us near super-powers...

Ok, only partly kidding: I lost my hearing - spinal meningitis - but I do alright, now, with a cochlear implant. Could be worse...

Re:Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197440)

That may be true, but I don't like the idea of "stronger" meaning "those that can survive super-influenza".

Re:Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger... (2)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197634)

"Whatever doesn't kill you, only delays the inevitable..."

scientists and the End (0, Troll)

tfiedler (732589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197366)

This is why the world hates scientists. Sure, politicians and terrorists uses the weapons but it is the scientists who give us atomic bombs, the threat of nuclear winter, super viri, and now an engineered avian flu that can kill off half the planet's population.... what next? This asshat's ego is what has caused this, and all of the other asshats who contribute to weapons of mass destruction. Raccoon city here we come!

Re:scientists and the End (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197400)

Racoon city... as long as I get the girl at the end, game on!

Re:scientists and the End (3, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197498)

Who says the world hates scientists? That's news to me.

Re:scientists and the End (3, Funny)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197580)

At this very moment, there are thousands transmitting "I hate science" and "Math is hard" on their pocket communication devices. If clay tablets were good enough for the Egyptians, an advanced civilization of their day, what more do we need?

Re:scientists and the End (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197556)

Turn in that computer you're posting to slashdot with, lad. That's scientist product too.

Re:scientists and the End (2)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197584)

mod parent up. I can guarantee that the virus could not have been created without a computer.

Re:scientists and the End (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197638)

I always find comments like this posted on the internet to have a certain delicious flavor of irony.

Re:scientists and the End (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197702)

Yeah but without advances in knowledge it's unlikely the population would be half of what it is anyway.

The NIH has caused this... (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197704)

This asshat's ego is what has caused [...] an engineered avian flu that can kill off half the planet's population

Actually, that would be the NIH ( http://www.nih.gov/ [nih.gov] ), who requested that this research be done, funded it, etc.;
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/11/scientists-brace-for-media-storm.html [sciencemag.org]

And really, I'd rather they do research it and find some manner of defense against it than that some actual 'asshats' figure it out and use it as a weapon first, or nature finds its own way to such a 'killer virus', without a defense in place.

The only particularly troubling time is when these findings are made public, because among the "ZOMG WE'RE DOOMED" people like you there's always the chance that there's one complete nutcase who goes to such a research facility to try and disrupt the work - and inadvertently releases things into the wild with far worse consequences.

That's not to say it shouldn't be made public - just that the designation of risk is often misplaced.

Besides, the world doesn't hate scientists - if they did, the world should be largely Amish (actually, they don't even hate scientists, but their lifestyle would come close to one in which a society does hate scientists).

It's all about vanity. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197778)

and egos the size of the moon. That's why narcissism is so dangerous.
 

M-O-O-N (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197372)

That spells life imitating art!

Re:M-O-O-N (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197510)

Yah. King has already inspired copycat school shooters with his fiction, and then there's that "fly an airliner into a skyscraper" thing from Running Man. Dude should start keeping his nightmares to himself.

Re:M-O-O-N (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197554)

That spells life imitating art!

Fantastic reference. It's to Stephen King's book Stand, for those wondering

This is what Gradschool does. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197378)

I'm I about to finish up my dissertation so completely understand the desire to wipe out large swaths of the human race. All I can say is only half? Looks like someone isn't ready for tenure.

Yes, it should be published (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197386)

If it was done, the information's out there. If the work's already been presented at a conference, it's pretty much a guarantee the black-hats have it. And if they don't already, they know it can be done and they've got enough clues to know where to go looking. So the question isn't whether we give the black-hats the information or not, it's whether only the black-hats get the information or whether the white-hats get it too. I'd rather have the information circulated so doctors and public health systems know what to look for and how to treat it when it shows up.

Barn doors and horses: (5, Interesting)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197518)

Exactly. The important info was that the strain can be made to be transmissible by air in mammals.

That was an open question, and some felt that it was unlikely. Now, it's known that it can be done.

If you know that it can be done, there are only a limited number of ways it could have been done. Now, you just have to figure out which. They even outline the basic idea in several places.

It looks like it was a pretty standard method of passing the virus repeatedly through ferrets to select for those variants best adapted.

There may be a few nuances, but now that it's been done just about any lab that works on that strain with ferrets for test animals can probably repeat the work even without further info.

Re:Yes, it should be published (5, Informative)

pesho (843750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197534)

My thoughts exactly. If you know it can be done it is fairly trivial to make it happen. The only caveat is that if you are going to do it you better have a BSL4 containment. Otherwise you will end up eating your own dog food, before anyone else has had a chance to try it. The important information from this work as far as I can deduce from the limited information being released is that now we know what kind of changes can make the virus more aggressive. This can be used to monitor the virus in the wild and catch potential pandemics before the virus has jumped on humans. It will also give us head start in making vaccines. All this makes it imperative that it gets published.

Re:Yes, it should be published (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197546)

That's your assumption. I'd rather we operate under the assumption that the black-hats don't have it. First of all, that seems more likely (it's not as though the full recipe would be presented at a conference), and secondly the penalty for releasing it if they don't have it is much worse than the penalty for withholding it if they do have it.

Possibilities:

00) Black hats don't have it, we don't release it. Very Good! No one has to die.
01) Black hats don't have it, we do release it. Very Bad! We just gave the tools for murder on an unprecedented scale to everyone who wants them.
10) Black hats have it, we don't release it. Bad. When and if they use it, we will be somewhat delayed while we realize "Hey, there's this new superflu that seems a lot like the one that Dutch guy came up with."
11) Black hats have it, we do release it. Maybe good. We save some time researching cures, at the cost of making the recipe even more available than it already is (and thus saving the bad guys some time obtaining it).

Make your own little game theory chart. Unless there is a very high probability that they have it, we're better off not releasing it. And as I said before, they likely don't have the whole thing.

I know this is Slashdot and a lot of people think that information wants to be free, but trust me on this. The information doesn't give a shit. Some things really should be kept secret.

Re:Yes, it should be published (4, Informative)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197718)

Remember that knowing something can be done is often 90% of the battle.

So, while your assumption that they don't have it now may well be valid, it won't be in 5-10 years. Thus, probably a good idea to get the white hats working on counter measures now, which means (by your own logic) that it should be published.

Re:Yes, it should be published (5, Informative)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197746)

Remember that knowing something can be done is often 90% of the battle.

Someone doesn't remember their GI Joe math. Knowing is 50% of the battle.

Re:Yes, it should be published (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197782)

Whatever. Your mockery aside, when people know that something can be done, they're far more apt to try to do it than they are if they don't know if it can be done.

Re:Yes, it should be published (1)

Rehnberg (1618505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197772)

When and if they use it, we will be somewhat delayed while we realize "Hey, there's this new superflu that seems a lot like the one that Dutch guy came up with."

Except that the paper will already be there, so presumably he (at least) will be comparing novel H5N1 strains to what he came up with. On the other hand, the research has been done and the paper written. Presumably, several electronic copies exist in several locations, which means that the black hats could get their hands on it without too much trouble. So releasing the paper only makes it moderately less difficult for the black hats, but helps out the medical community.

I believe this might have happened before with the (0)

sandossu (1049498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197392)

I believe this might have happened before with the H5N1 and all the others

Re:I believe this might have happened before with (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197750)

Yes you had http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sverdlovsk_anthrax_leak [wikipedia.org]
Australia "lost" its rabbit controlling calicivirus during quarantine compound "testing" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbits_in_Australia#Biological_measures [wikipedia.org]
Who knows what the US lost from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plum_Island_Animal_Disease_Center [wikipedia.org] after the 1950's ???
Don't worry, the US wanted to move its new high-security animal disease lab to .... Manhattan, Kansas.

virus researcher practical jokes (4, Funny)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197416)

I can just imagine the practal jokes in that lab.
My god! the seal on the container has come undone - the virus has excaped!!

Ha - got you! that's just the box my lunch came in

Re:virus researcher practical jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197594)

I'd reply nothing more than: "Exaaaactllyyyy... *evilgrin* Your virus lunch!".

Re:virus researcher practical jokes (2)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197770)

Damnit, I knew I shouldn't have switched the labels on you lunch box.

We should be fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197418)

As long as the virus does not increase the intelligence of apes.

Re:We should be fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197496)

As long as the virus does not increase the intelligence of apes.

You mean ours?

Yikes (3, Funny)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197422)

Now I don't wanna go to work tomorrow (I work there). :)

Re:Yikes (2)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197500)

Now I don't wanna go to work tomorrow (I work there). :)

SURPRISE! You're patient zero! You just won free health care for the rest of your life!!!

Re:Yikes (1)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197552)

Hehe for the short duration that it would be? :)

Funnily enough, mortality rates should be higher outside of Europe, due to a gene that survivors of the Black Plague passed on. It should make those people more resistant to this flu as well. So my chances aren't all that bad probably.

Although it's never a bad idea to start stockpiling canned goods and tissues ;)

Captain Trips! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197428)

Captain Trips!

Let me say Fuck (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197432)

Banning publication doesn't even remotely make sense. If he's got super killer virus, publication informs the public and other guys can use the information to develop a countermeasure. By keeping the knowledge secret you're just granting even more leverage to potential abusers of the knowledge.

Banning a HUGE Mistake (5, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197434)

A few years back some researchers (Australian?) accidentally made an infector much much more dangerous. That's why the scientist need to share this data. It's so they can understand this process and use that knowledge to defeat diseases. It's like getting over a canyon a persistent but ignorant person can eventually succeed by throwing rocks at it till it fills up, but an engineer can design and build a bridge in a fraction of the time and resources.
With regards to the fears of terrorists, it's not a high probability, most of them wouldn't have the vaguest idea what to do with that information, the few that are left know enough to not be stupid enough to release a superplague on the planet. Your biggest worry should be the Military making a superplague, and being stupid enough to let someone dumb enough to use it actually get access to some of it.

If you stop research because you are afraid that terrorists might use it, you would have to stop all research of any kind.

Re:Banning a HUGE Mistake (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197624)

If you stop research because you are afraid that terrorists might use it, you would have to stop all research of any kind.

That's a nice soundbite, but somehow I find myself opposed to giving terrorists weaponized super-flus, while at the same time not being so worried about them getting access to the latest touch screen technology. I mean, we've already stopped research into human vivisection, and that didn't require us to stop "research of any kind".

Just a thought, but maybe we can take a step outside of the world of black and white you're painting, and allow all research except that which could destroy human civilization?

Re:Banning a HUGE Mistake (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197708)

Who is to judge what can or cannot "destroy human civilization"?

Re:Banning a HUGE Mistake (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197710)

No, it's more along the lines that the barbarians who conquered Rome did so by traveling along Roman roads to get there. One could say, yeah those stupid Romans shouldn't have built those highways, they just gave the terrorists mass transit abilities (i.e., mass transit Iron Age style...) but the Romans used those roads for trade and commerce. The question that's missing here is what this highly contagious flu research is useful for. While it's possible, I highly doubt the guy is a mad scientist, so... who funded him and why? What's the purpose of this research? In the very last paragraph they give the answer:

On the other hand, if the study becomes available for the scientific community, it could allow researchers to ”be prepared” for a potential H5N1 pandemic. Since Fouchier’s study suggests that the risk for this to occur is greater than previously thought. Some researchers believe that banning the paper will leave mankind helpless if the virus naturally mutates and becomes contagious.

There you go, if you see a flu virus gaining the five mutations discussed in TFA, you know you're going to be in trouble.

Re:Banning a HUGE Mistake (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197670)

Yeah, they spliced a gene for interleukin 4 into mousepox virus. That suppressed the immune response to it. It killed even vaccinated mice.

There was a lot of speculation at the time that you could do the same by splicing it into smallpox. That info is out there, so repeating it hardly is a further danger.

I'm sure that someone followed up the work, if for no other reason than to see if it was a one off thing or if it could be done more generally. (Pretty important to know if your vaccine strategy can be made useless. And if so, how hard it would be to do.)

curious... (0)

MichaelKristopeit353 (1968162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197454)

how would exposure to previous flu vaccinations affect susceptibility to death after exposure to the new virus?

They should be able to publish their research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197462)

When they publish the antidote or cure.
This scientist probably should be careful. There have been a lot of microbiologists/scientists that have been having accidents supposedly.

Re:They should be able to publish their research (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197606)

When they publish the antidote or cure.
This scientist probably should be careful. There have been a lot of microbiologists/scientists that have been having accidents supposedly.

[Citation needed]

Am I just cynical? (1)

Darkling-MHCN (222524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197474)

Or does anyone out there think the likelihood of a extremely contagious flu virus going into the wild would escalate somewhat if the occupy protests escalated into a popular uprising that could overthrow the capitalistic system?

You want to occupy hey? This will keep you occupied !

Re:Am I just cynical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197558)

You mean, by killing half the entire workforce and consumer market?

No wonder you damn socialist trolls can't achieve anything. Get real kid.

Re:Am I just cynical? (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197576)

More likely to get a cholera outbreak with all those crusties in tents.

Re:Am I just cynical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197600)

"28 Days Later" anyone? Often those with the best of intentions can cause the most damage.

Re:Am I just cynical? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197652)

Since diseases spread more rapidly when populations are dense and living conditions are less than ideal (come on, how many hippies really shower?) I wouldn't be surprised if one of the occupy protests indavertantly created their own super-virus

Re:Am I just cynical? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197744)

All sorts of health conditions spring up when you shit where you eat. So far there are problems with TB, scabies, and ringworm, and no doubt more to come without any need for the government to get involved. Anyhow, it's not like anyone takes poopstock seriously as a threat to anything but sanitation.

Reminds me of GLaDOS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197488)

Lynn Enquist, quoted in the article, reminds me of GLaDOS:

I find it really, really hard to think about telling people not to do science.

Too late (5, Insightful)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197526)

"A genetic study showed that new virus strain presented five mutations, and all could be also observed in nature - but only separately, not all five combined."
With this sentence, they have practically gave it away already. All one has to do now is to scan the scientific literature for the appropriate five mutations that confer increased airborne transmissibility, perform site directed mutagenesis and voila.

They should follow the footsteps of Australian researches (who inserted IL4 gene into the mousepox creating a very lethal strain) and publish this anyway.

Viral Wars (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197532)

If a scientist can make this stuff in a lab now, in ten years an eager and intelligent sociopath can make this stuff in his basement.

We're not getting off this planet. We'll kill each other first.

Re:Viral Wars (2)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197608)

And in the same ten years, scientists will have already made this stuff harmless. Precisely because this kind of research and knowledge is not banned.

Re:Viral Wars (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197644)

This concept and its outcomes were nicely explored in the story "King of Pain" by Jacek Dukaj. (I think English translations of the Polish original are already available).

Basically, when every nut and terrorist is able to brew a super-plague, the outcome is dissolution of all forms of government, which simply must cave in to the demands or face genocide. This results in formations of small anarchy states. No larger govt. structures exist, since even if terrorists' demands are met, they become well known and hence they can become the targets themselves and the vicious cycle continues.

Captain Trips (2)

Ogre332 (145645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197536)

Stephen King is probably rolling in his grave.

Re:Captain Trips (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197578)

He might be if he was dead...

But he would write a 100000 page book describing the interior of the casket first.

Re:Captain Trips (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197610)

He's still alive...

H5 and highly contagious? Yikes! (1)

jhantin (252660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197590)

If I recall correctly, at least in humans, influenza hemagglutinin 5 tends to attach very well down deep in the lungs but not so well higher in the airway. Therefore H5 flus are particularly nasty if you get one, but they haven't historically been very contagious. I have to wonder if that's where the difference lies: something improving on H5's ability to attach higher in the airway, without compromising its existing affinity too much.

This is why Mars, now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197620)

It's only a matter of time before something like this is released on Earth. That said, it would be a quick way to get our population down to where it needs to be and shut up those fucking anti-vaccers for a very, very long time.

Re:This is why Mars, now. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197696)

That said, it would be a quick way to get our population down to where it needs to be and shut up those fucking anti-vaccers for a very, very long time.
Unfortunately, the flu would probably mostly affect the part of the world that is actually able to sustain itself, since a lot of the population of the world that is unable to feed their children is more isolated.

Develope a vaccine, then publish (if they must) (2)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197622)

Don't see why they *need* to publish this work, but if it is done can they atleast wait until they have administered 200 million or so vaccinations?

Re:Develope a vaccine, then publish (if they must) (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197666)

But sharing the information with peers in med research tends to help developing a better vaccine, faster.

this is nuthin - how much sludge is in your diet? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197630)

May i introduce you to the concept of sewage sludge [wikipedia.org] ?

We might be creating the modern plague [deadlydeceit.com] of our age - all under the greenwash guise of "recycling".

Here [vimeo.com] is a great introductory video.

Lax oversight is also a great way to attack [web.net] US.

Know where your food comes from - as a farm geek to you computer geeks - know the difference between organic and certified organic [organic.org] .

Want to know more? Read this. [amazon.com]

University of Pittsburg in Baltimore (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197646)

Strangely enough, it's true.

So that's way I can suddenly do magic.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197678)

Hubba dubba dub.
On to Las Vegas anybody?

I'm immune to H1N1.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197684)

So, the proteins would probably be at least similar enough that I wouldn't die from it.

WHAT?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197694)

What the FUCK is wrong with people?? WHY woulld somebody even try to make a super contageous and deadly virus?? Just to prove a point?? He could make "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" a reality and kill us all! That's surely nothing to be playing around with!

Time to go into space? (1)

CptJeanLuc (1889586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197700)

Makes me think about this Stephen Hawking quote from wikiquote.org, "I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars."

I do not bother spending too much time pondering the various things that could happen; each of them seems rather unlikely and if the risk is very low or there is nothing one can do to reduce the risk anyways, might as well just get on with life and leave it to fate. So I am not too much into the doomsday mentality.

The problem is mathematically there is nothing average about the effect of a planetary catastrophy. If there is just a small chance that some single lunatic is in the position to do something crazy which has the potential to wipe out the world's population, then over the course of a very long timespan the probability that it happens becomes very high. And there is no recovery from such an event .So even though I would guess we are good to go for the next few decades, technology is only going to advance including our ability to cause destruction at even larger scales than currently.

As a bit of a technology nerd I think it would be quite fun to see how we could start by conquering our own solar system. It would be nice knowing we have improved our chances to survive as a species. Plus a global space colonization initiative would probably generate a bunch of jobs, not necessarily bad for the current economy.

Ah well who am I kidding, not going to happen in near future - but one can always dream :-)

Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197714)

Make a religion out of finding the cure.

Perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197726)

Reduce the World's population by half, that's a great start.

Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197730)

So basically that means that Iran is censoring computer games, while the US is censoring science?

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38197736)

I think I saw that movie.

Frank Herbert's 'White Plague' (1)

morikahnx (1323841) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197758)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Plague [wikipedia.org] Molecular Biologist goes crazy after his wife is killed in an IRA attack. Develops a virus that kills only women. Great story and delves into the ramifications of what is right and wrong when it comes to science. Personally I think all good reasons to obfuscate, prevent, or hide scientific research - as long as it doesn't hurt people - are all short term. The security gained from ignorance will only last until someone else develops it secretly. All that is left then is ignorance.

Security? (2)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197762)

So not only did a civilian institution create a MWD, it has *civilian* security guarding it...? Does this worry anyone else?

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