Policy Forum

Benefits and Risks of Influenza Research: Lessons Learned

Science  22 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6088, pp. 1522-1523
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224305

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Abstract

Given the yearly challenge of seasonal influenza and the potential catastrophic consequences of future pandemics, the need for intensive basic and clinical influenza research is unquestionable. Although the fruits of decades of research have enabled dramatic improvements in our ability to prevent and treat influenza, many fundamental questions remain, including those related to the complex factors associated with host switching and transmission of influenza viruses. Recent public concern over two H5N1 influenza manuscripts that studied the transmissibility of influenza viruses has triggered intense discussion on dual-use research and the way forward.

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