Friday, January 25, 2013

Lab created H5N1 pandemic research hits the restart button

Should H5N1 become the next pandemic flu virus consider yourself warned in advance

This genetically modified monstrosity created in a lab has been covered at the blog on at least two previous occasions
Deadly H5N1 created in lab
US requests nixing details of bird flu
If you are unfamiliar you may want to read those for some background. If familiar read as a refresher.

What is the latest news on this flu virus?

Scientists to resume work with lab-bred bird flu

International scientists who last year halted controversial research with the deadly bird flu say they are resuming their work as countries adopt new rules to ensure safety.

The outcry erupted when two labs — in the Netherlands and the U.S. — reported they had created easier-to-spread versions of bird flu. Amid fierce debate about the oversight of such research and whether it might aid terrorists, those scientists voluntarily halted further work last January
 The research touched off a firestorm in 2011 when it became known that two groups, one in the Netherlands and another in the United States, had genetically altered a dangerous bird flu virus to make it more contagious in mammals. Some scientists warned that a deadly pandemic could break out if the mutant virus leaked out of the lab accidentally or if terrorists stole it or made it themselves, using articles in scientific journals for the recipe.
 But the United States, which pays for much of the flu research both at home and abroad, has not yet released new guidelines.  
So scientists here will not be able to resume experiments yet, nor will those in other countries who depend on grant money from the United States

Guidelines from the World Health Organization outline the type of facilities where the experiments can take place and encourage a culture of safety, a move the signatories supported..
But was the concern really about terrorists? And if so, which ones?
(Sources for all info contained below comes from herehere, here and Here )

Since most terrorists are state sponsored, were those the terrorist being referenced?
Or was it the state itself?
Let's take a real, factual look at the concerns?

The two studies raised alarm amongst biosecurity experts who worry that scientists handling the manmade pathogen could accidentally (accidentally on purpose?)release it into the populationor, in a more remote but troubling scenario, provide ready-made blueprints to would-be bioterrorists.

Reiterating, the concern was if the virus was released from the research facility. The terrorism angle was remote.
It seems some scientists, perhaps having a bit of morality or conscience, got very frightened by this virus. And they suggested a stop to this research realizing the potential human threat contained in this research.
That moral crisis appears to have been overcome

An international coalition of leading scientists announced on Wednesday that they will be ending a voluntary blackout on researching the bird flu, the deadly virus that many fear could someday trigger the next great pandemic.

Curiously, the work will not begin in the US, because for some strange reason the US has not yet dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.(as already mentioned) Hmmmm.....

The experiments will be conducted outside the U.S.,(would this give the US a deniability factor? Like "leading from behind"? and all that other spin?) where officials are completing a framework to permit such work by researchers funded or based in that country.
 Laboratories in China and Canada may be ready to start up.
That's right! Canada. The great white north.. Where the people are so friendly.....
Where specifically in Canada would this research take place?
How about Winnipeg, Manitoba?

Gary Kobinger, chief of the special pathogens laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, signed the letter. (For work to restart)
Kobinger said it's important for the international experiments to continue.

"This is the first window open that we have where we can test the vaccine ahead of time, we can test the drugs ahead of time, we can study and understand exactly how is this virus going to present itself, so when it does, we can detect it right away," said Kobinger.

Scientists at the Winnipeg lab, a top biosecurity facility, work with samples of H5N1 from infected humans and have used the 1918 pandemic flu strain.

Canada has completed the necessary framework to permit such work
Gary Kobinger signed the letter for the work to start again.
Could that work take place in Winnipeg?
At the National Microbiology Lab where Gary Kobinger is employed?
Will Canada finance this work at it’s own lab?
The most obvious answer would be YES.
The facility is there, in Winnipeg and they have worked previously with other virulent strains.

 But. There is more to this. 

There is more to this lab in Winnipeg then meets the eye.
Did you know that Winnipeg, Manitoba is a unique geographical location

Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada. The Centre of North America. Almost.

The City of Winnipeg is located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, almost at the geographic centre of North America.

It is said that “all roads lead to Winnipeg”
Which, conversely speaking, means all roads lead out of Winnipeg..........

Or how about this? Winnipeg is the heart of North America

And like any good pumping heart everything flows outward from it

Could there be a more perfect location to ‘work’ on a weaponized pandemic flu so virulent that research was stopped on it for fear it could escape from a research facility
Accidentally of course ;)


  1. freethinker:
    the interesting location of winnipeg sheds some light on that unique parliament buiding

    1. A good location for the NAU capitol perhaps?