Michaeleen Doucleff
August 8, 2013

Who do these guys think they are, the Dr. Frankensteins of virology?

First, two teams of virologists more dangerous versions of the deadly H5N1 flu. Now they want to give the H7N9 virus, which has already sickened at least 134 people and killed 43 people in Asia, a few new capabilities: drug resistance, faster transmission between people and the ability to sneak past the immune system.

Flu researchers Ron Fouchier, of the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote up a whole list of risky experiments they’re starting with the new H7N9 bird flu and then published their plans Wednesday in both and . About 20 other scientists also signed the letters.

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