ARS today reported an alarming story today. It said that the US Government was actually restricting publication and awareness on the Avian flu virus that spreads among mammals. Researchers identified the mutations that allowed the virus to grow. That kind of information that would be enough to allow any competent molecular biologist to create an exact duplicate.
Like any scientist they wanted to publish their results but the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked both Nature and Science to “delete details regarding both scientific methodology and specific viral mutations before publishing.” The journals recognize why the NSABB is concerned, but they also both feel that responsible researchers will need to know these details if they’re to effectively study the risk of an H5N1 pandemic.
Currently, both have issued statements that they’re considering the requests, but haven’t yet decided how to proceed.