May 2, 2012 The paper describes experiments that suggest just a few genetic changes could potentially make a bird flu virus capable of becoming contagious in humans, and causing a dangerous pandemic. A fierce debate has raged over this study for months, because of fears that the work might provide a recipe for turning bird flu into a bioweapon.
April 24, 2012 The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission Tuesday to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal. He is optimistic the request will be granted, but had hoped he wouldn't need the special permit.
April 20, 2012 The conflict over publishing controversial bird flu research may come to a head next Monday, as the Dutch government meets to consider whether it should lift controls that have kept a scientist from openly discussing his work with the deadly virus.
April 19, 2012 A panel of independent experts convened by the prestigious National Research Council has examined whether the death penalty deters or increases homicide rates. It concluded that the available research offers no useful information for policymakers.
April 5, 2012 The interviews are part of an ongoing investigation of government scientists who described seeing dead polar bears in Arctic waters in 2006. Investigators were apparently interested in archived aerial surveys, suggesting their probe remains focused on the scientific integrity of the 2006 paper.
April 3, 2012 In 2007, Congress created a public-private foundation to support research of interest to the FDA. Critics said this amounted to a new way for industry groups to influence the agency's decisions, and any FDA funding for the foundation was blocked for years. That's about to change.
March 30, 2012 A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret. Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.
March 26, 2012 An expert committee that advises the government is once again going to review some controversial studies on bird flu to see if they can be published openly. Last year, those experts said no, because of concerns that the work could be misused and was too dangerous, but the government asked it to reconsider after a World Health Organization panel came to the opposite conclusion.
March 7, 2012 Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration are feeling more optimistic about the future of their agency than they were back in 2006, according to a survey just out from the Union of Concerned Scientists. But they still report concerns about outside pressures on the agency's decisions and policies.