A new study led by East-West Center researchers and funded by the National Science Foundation has confirmed suspicions that "peri-urban" areas at the outer fringes of cities are particular hot spots for the emergence of animal-to-human infectious diseases.
The United States should take the lead in starting discussions toward an international agreement requiring the strictest oversight and highest biosafety level for research on other potentially highly contagious and lethal pathogens.
In spite of our current low risk, it is just a matter of time before H5N1, H7N3 or another influenza strain evolves into a dangerous form that results in a pandemic. And the events in Mexico and Cambodia beg the question: Are we ever going to be safe from bird flu?
Everyone recognizes the raw power that pandemics have to sweep through human populations and seemingly kill indiscriminately. Yet, given the importance of these events, large questions remain remarkably opaque.
Some of the hardest questions in the process of scientific discovery aren't about science, but philosophy. A good illustration of this is the unanimous recommendation by the NSABB that two leading journals not publish certain details about "bird flu."