Apocalypse now?

Thursday January 05, 2012 Written by amanda

Did Contagion freak you out? Good. It's real.

Bird flu (H5N1) is the world's current number one pandemic threat. It's deadly, continually mutating and has a kazillion potential hosts out there (look out the nearest window – you can see at least one bird right?).

Luckily, the bird flu virus isn't easily passed from one person to another. Until now that is... Last month, two teams of researchers, one in the Netherlands and the other in the USA, engineered a strain of highly transmissible, highly lethal bird flu.

The USA's National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has asked two leading science journals to omit certain details of the experiments when publishing papers about them in 2012 (the emails might have gone something like: 'We're big fans of the mag, but would you mind leaving out the recipe for armageddon when you publish the next issue?').

We couldn't make this stuff up.