Here you are calmly perusing the news, packing and getting ready to visit your family for the holidays, and then…
For the first time ever, a government advisory board is asking scientific journals not to publish details of certain biomedical experiments, for fear that the information could be used by terrorists to create deadly viruses and touch off epidemics.
Oh God, what if that Contagion movie ends up being a documentary for the million people left on earth? Okay. Okay. Calm down. Let's keep reading…
In the experiments, conducted in the United States and the Netherlands, scientists created a highly transmissible form of a deadly flu virus that does not normally spread from person to person. It was an ominous step, because easy transmission can lead the virus to spread all over the world. The work was done in ferrets, which are considered a good model for predicting what flu viruses will do in people.
This article is more terrifying than the one about Barney Frank's nipples, previously the most terrifying thing on the internet today. Not only have scientists intentionally made a deadly flu virus contagious, they think ferrets are a good model for people. It's a sad day for human civilization. Says Ronald M. Atlas, microbiologist at the University of Louisville…
The government "is going to struggle with how to get the information out to the right people and still have a barrier" to wide sharing and inadvertently aiding a terrorist. "That’s going to be hard."
Remember when the scientific community had to resist the Bush administration's call to not publish research that could be used for biological warfare? Apparently the Obama administration may not be any more trustworthy, to say nothing of the potential administrations that would be led by our current crop of GOP candidates.
Although maybe they wouldn't bother suppressing research in a field they don't believe in.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Bird Flu, Obama Administration, Science & Technology