Novel containment strategy could boost safety of controversial influenza A research

In a controversial study in late 2011, Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier altered the H5N1 viral genome and engineered a strain of the deadly virus capable of airborne spread between ferrets. The study sparked a debate about gain-of-function research with H5N1, with some experts raising concerns about the risks of accidental release and bioterrorism. What followed was a year-long voluntary …