A scientific journal has finally published the details of how to make mutant forms of bird flu. These viruses were created last year by a lab that's trying to stay ahead of a possible flu pandemic, so that the world can get ready. But the work is highly controversial. The government is grappling with how to manage the risks of this kind of research without blocking scientific progress.
One of the most popular parts of the health overhaul law is a provision that lets parents keep children on their insurance policies until age 26. Several big insurers say they plan to keep that in place even if the Supreme Court strikes down the rest of the law. But it may not be so easy.
The research paper, which has been under scrutiny for months, publishes the recipe for a potential pandemic: It shows how just a handful of genetic mutations of the bird flu virus H5N1 allow it to spread between ferrets — the lab stand-in for people — through coughs and sneezes.
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