From the time when the noxious H5N1 avian flu killed a boy in Hong Kong in 1997, it has scared the world and also health experts who are working day and night to look for a cure of this perilous flu. Up to now it has killed a total of 340 people and it is feared that in the future it might be a pandemic. This virus can blight mammals and is also said to be proficient at killing chickens but presently none of these animals have got the disease and not even the bets doctors know the real reason to this.
To study what makes H5N1 communicable and also precarious amid mammals, two scientists got engaged in the study. Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin concentrated his study on an amalgam flu virus that is from avian H5 and human H1N1 plague flu that was serious in 2009. Ron Foucheier from a medical center known as Erasmus in Rotterdam, Netherlands tried to make the virus poison cells upper in the respiratory tract by naturally improving his H5 pressure. They then wedged the strains in the noses of furrows.
After passing nasal excretions from one infected farrow to another for several times, they both allowed genetic variations choosing through natural assortment that would facilitate best spreading in furrows. After ten passages the virus was able to spread through the air and into furrow in different cages. The furrows with Kawaoka got infected but survived but 60 percent of the furrows from Fouchier perished. After a comparison of the new virus and the unique strain, almost five variations that made the passing of the virus from one furrow to another were reviled.
The U.S National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity was troubled by the publication of the results. They thought the scientists work might have been dangerous to the human race and some members of the board said that a hereditary formula for ferret flu be redacted afore publication and this created a public panic as people thought that the scientists had created a dangerous human virus that can be conducted easily. The New York Times nicknamed this a “Doomsday weapon”.
There was no need of the panic because the experiment was done using ferrets and not humans and the test did not reproduce a natural process. If the strains were passed among humans then this would have been a deadly experiment and would be a threat to human beings.
It was made clear by virologist Earl Brown of the University of Ottawa that moving a virus from one animal to another upsurge the virulence of the virus of the new infected animal and reduces its virulence for the original host. According to virologist Vincent Racaniello this was the same as the old technique used for making human vaccines by fading influenza pressure by passing them from animal to animal. Vaccines created using this method are those for yellow fever and polio. This means that the experiments by the two scientists using ferrets were somehow a human vaccine than a doomsday weapon.
A ruling was made by the World Health Organization for full publication of the articles that was a triumph for medicine and science. More than ever before, we are able to learn about genetics of disease transmission.