European #academies advise on Gain of Function [#GOF] #studies in #influenza #virus #research (J Virol., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Virology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


European academies advise on Gain of Function studies in influenza virus research [      ]

Robin Fears a and Volker ter Meulen b⇑

Author Affiliations: aBiosciences Programme Director and Secretary of Gain of Function Working Group bChair of Biosciences Steering Panel and of Gain of Function Working Group; EASAC, German National Academy of Sciences, Halle (Saale), Germany



Gain of Function (GoF) studies to understand factors affecting transmissibility of potentially pandemic pathogens are controversial. EASAC recently published consensus recommendations relating to GoF research review and management on: self-regulation and harmonisation; bioethical considerations; benefit-risk assessment; biosafety and biosecurity advisory options; and publication of sensitive information. A layered approach to integration of responsibilities must include conforming to the stringent rules and guidance already existing. Further commitment is essential to extend the debate on issues worldwide.



Corresponding author: Volker ter Meulen,

Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; GOF; Avian Influenza; Bioethics; Biological Hazards.


#Attacks on #HealthCare in #Syria — Normalizing #Violations of #Medical #Neutrality? (N Engl J Med., extract)

[Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Extract.]


Attacks on Health Care in Syria — Normalizing Violations of Medical Neutrality? [   !   ]

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A., Elise Baker, B.A., and Donna McKay, M.S.

N Engl J Med 2015; 373:2489-2491 / December 24, 2015 / DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1513512


Interview with Dr. Michele Heisler on attacks on physicians and health care facilities in Syria and the response from the international community. (11:57)  –| Listen |—/ –| Download |–


In July 2015, a 26-year-old pediatrician described to our team of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) investigators his experiences in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city. When he was a medical student in 2012, government forces detained and severely beat him. He now works as an emergency medicine physician and surgery resident in a hospital that has twice been bombed by the Syrian government. He lives in fear of being killed by bombs on his way to work or while there. His family wants him to leave Syria as they did, but he explained, “It’s our country, and if we leave, it will fall apart. At times, I think maybe I will leave and specialize and come back with better skills, but then I see how much the people need me. Maybe that’s the biggest thing that’s keeping me inside.”


Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Wars; Public Health; Society; Bioethics.


#Ebola #Crisis Passes, but #Questions on #Quarantines Persist (NYT, Dec. 3 ‘15)

[Source: The New York Times, full page: (LINK).]

Ebola Crisis Passes, but Questions on Quarantines Persist [      ]


States often exceeded federal guidelines during the outbreak, sometimes with haphazard consequences, according to a new report.


Keywords: Ebola; Public Health; USA; Quarantine Measures; Civil Rights; Society.