This is the beginning of a disaster movie.
Controversial research at UW-Madison to make a deadly flu virus more dangerous, halted by the government in 2014, has been approved to start again.
The work by campus scientist Yoshihiro Kawaoka involves modifying bird flu viruses such as H5N1 so they can spread among ferrets, an animal model for studying the flu in humans.
The research aims to identify changes that could cause the viruses to spread easily among people, “so that public health officials can monitor for these changes in nature and begin to stockpile vaccines and antivirals to combat it,” Rebecca Moritz, the university’s manager for select agents — or germs considered bioterrorism threats — said in a statement.
The flu still kills twice as many people in the U.S. than people with guns. I certainly support efforts to combat it, but let’s be careful, eh?