- In December, the biologist Henry Niman of Recombinomics,
a biotechnology company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, examined the data
as part of an analysis of flu sequences. He concluded that the samples
contained genes from a strain of human flu virus that was created decades
ago by scientists experimenting with the virus that caused the global flu
pandemic of 1918.
- Neither the World Health Organization (WHO), which coordinates
the international response to flu, nor the South Korean government have
commented on the claim. But Laurie Garrett, a former journalist and analyst
at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, says that the WHO attributes
the sequence to an error at the lab that deposited the information.
- Sang Heui Seo, one of the Korean researchers, says he
is unable to comment yet, adding that "further confirmation"
of the sequence "is under way at this moment".
- As indicated earlier, the lab error story has some significant
flaws. The explanation of computer files sent in error is not credible
because there are over 30 WSN/33 sequences involved. Virtually all are
slightly different from each other as well as WSN/33, although all share
greater than 99% homology. The contamination is hard to understand because
each of the 30 sequences is slightly different, there is no WSN/33 in the
lab, and the viruses were isolated in eggs.
- As noted above, the sequences are being independently
confirmed. Confirmation will eliminate the lab error story. However, the
route of the sequences from lab to swine remains open, as does the possibility
of bioterrorism. The inability to resolve the existence of the sequence
after being in the public domain for almost 3 months also raises serious
bioterrorism preparedness issues.
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health