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Details of new lab-created bird flu strain may be too dangerous to publish
December 21st, 2011
05:39 PM ET

Details of new lab-created bird flu strain may be too dangerous to publish

A genetically altered strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus is at the center of a controversial request to keep the details of its creation under wraps.

Scientists in Wisconsin and the Netherlands each created a strain of the influenza virus that is both highly lethal and easily transmitted between ferrets.  Ferrets are the animals that most closely mimic the human response to the flu.

The Dutch paper, on the transmissibility of H5N1, was to be published in the journal Science and the University of Wisconsin study was to be published in the journal Nature.  But the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), an independent committee that advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  and other federal agencies on biosecurity matters reviewed the manuscripts and expressed concern about the release of some of the data.

FULL POST


Please thank your nurse this Christmas
December 21st, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Please thank your nurse this Christmas

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

You can guarantee that three places will be open on Christmas day: Chinese restaurants, Denny’s and hospitals.

I spent part of last Christmas in the hospital visiting my mother-in-law who was recovering from open heart surgery.  I felt depressed walking into the building that morning.  My mother-in-law treasures the holidays more than anyone else in my family.  Lying in a hospital bed was the absolute last way she wanted to spend Christmas. FULL POST


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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