Bird flu becomes easily transmissible with one gene swap

05/3/2013 | ScienceMag.org

Researchers have found that swapping one gene from human influenza creates a dangerous strain of bird flu that can be easily transmitted between guinea pigs. The study suggests that if such mutations occurred, they could touch off a pandemic of the H5N1 virus. Other experiments in ferrets have shown similar results, but critics of the research say it's too risky, and some researchers joined a global moratorium on such studies.

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