Bird flu study publication cleared by U.S. biosecurity panel

A panel of U.S. biosecurity experts is withdrawing its objections to the publication of two controversial bird flu studies.

A panel of U.S. biosecurity experts is withdrawing its objections to the publication of two controversial bird flu studies.   

A colourized transmission electron micrograph shows avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green. (Cynthia Goldsmith, Jackie Katz, Sharif Zaki/CDC/Canadian Press)

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity says after reviewing revised versions of the studies it is recommending they can be published in full.   

The board's recommendation must go to the U.S. government, which will then decide whether to accept or reject it.   

If the U.S. government withdraws its objections, the move will draw to a close a controversy that has dragged on since late last fall.   

The board voted unanimously to clear for publication a study by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.    The committee voted 12-6 on the second study, done by Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier.   

Fouchier told The Canadian Press he is relieved by the outcome.