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Medicine

WHO Investigates Claims That Swine Flu Resulted From Human Error 249

Tom DBA writes "Bloomberg reports on claims that the swine flu could have been accidentally made in a lab, which are now being investigated by the World Health Organization. Quoting: 'Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu drug, said in an interview today that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said that he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus's origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint. ... Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus's eight genes. ... [The CDC's Nancy Cox says] since researchers don't have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can't be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.'" Time has a related story evaluating the World Health Organization's response to H1N1.

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