Pages

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Need-To-Know Is Antithetical And Harmful To The Scientific Process

Originally Published December 21, 2011; Last Updated August 19, 2017; Last Republished July 15, 2017:


United States, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has requested researchers and scientific journals to withhold fundamental data1 related to the laboratory gene manipulation and inter-species transmission of the influenza A-H5N1—effectively classifying the scientific data and imposing a government gated "need-to-know" requirement.

One need look no further than our current dysfunctional classification system2 to understand how harmful and antithetical a government gated "need-to-know" requirements will be to the scientific process.

Res:

UPDATED 07/15/2017 WHO, Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and WHO, FluNet Summary; Global circulation of influenza viruses July 07, 2017
UPDATED 05/15/2017 NAP, Global Health and the Future Role of the United States (2017), Infectious Disease, Pandemic Influenza, and Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Health Security Is National Security and Scowcroft Institute, The Growing Threat of Pandemics: Enhancing Domestic and International Biosecurity Paper focuses on creating realistic and effective plans for reducing the threat of pandemics...  and NAP, Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza,  Chapter 3 and NAP, The Threat of Pandemic Influenza

UPDATED 04/21/2017 WHO, Pandemic Influenza Risk Management WHO Interim Guidance and NAP, Rapid Medical Countermeasure Response to Infectious Diseases Enabling Sustainable Capabilities Through Ongoing Public and Private-Sector Partnerships and WHO, Global Influenza Programme (GIP) and CDC, Pandemic Influenza, Planning and Preparedness Resources, Global Planning and CDC, Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States



UPDATED 07/29/2016 NAP, Soliciting Stakeholder Input for a Revision of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL): Proceedings of a Workshop (2016) Chapter: INTRODUCTION
UPDATED 07/15/2016 NAP, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Developing Standard Operating Procedures (2016) Chapter: Front Matter and NAS, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Prudent Chemical Management

UPDATED 11/11/2013 iGEM, Synthetic Biology A non-government-gated totally transparent participatory paradigm is a preferred model for all responsible biological research.

Web: 

UPDATED 08/19/2017 NewsHour, We’re not close to being prepared for the next pandemic, says this doctor



UPDATED 07/15/2017 ScienceMag, Can we beat influenza?
UPDATED  06/17/2017 NewsMed, Mutations Identified That Enable Human Transmission of Avian Flu ( PLOS, Three Mutations Switch H7N9 Influenza to Human-type Receptor Specificity) and Reuters, China to Vaccinate Poultry Against H7N9 Bird Flu Next Month and CHP, Avian Influenza Report 13 Week 23 and WHO, Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China June 8, 2017
UPDATED 05/08/2017 SA, To Change Politics, Do More Than March for Science
"To fight antiresearch policies, scientists must become activists for the long haul"
UPDATED 04/20/2017 Bloomberg, Bill Gates on Tropical Diseases, Trump and Brexit and NEJM, Scientific Drought, Golden Eggs, and Global Leadership — Why Trump’s NIH Funding Cuts Would Be a Disaster

How can a government effectively separate preparation3 for a global pandemic and its national defense?



On March 16, 2017, our "new" alt-white-house proposed cutting the 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by 18.3%, or about $5.8 billion! Global and national leadership should not waste time pretending they can salvage4 our "new" alt-white-house and instead, pending its complete demise focus all efforts on harm mitigation, reduction, and remediation. 

UPDATED 04/13/2017 SA, Is the U.S. Ready for Future Disease Threats?
UPDATED 03/03/2017 WP, Surge in Human Cases of Deadly Bird Flu is Prompting Alarm
UPDATED 01/14/2017 RoyalSociety, Transparency and openness in science
UPDATED 09/30/2016 Bioinformatics, Towards the knowledge-based design of universal influenza epitope ensemble vaccines
"...A ‘universal’ vaccine would ideally induce immunity against all or most influenza A subtypes. However, as influenza continually evolves, formulating a vaccine with such broad protection remains problematic. Current seasonal influenza vaccines lack the ability to induce cellular immunity and instead induce strain specific humoral immunity where novel or differing influenza strains can easily bypass immune recognition..."--Q.M.Sheikh et al.--
UPDATED 05/23/2016 Reuters, U.S. targets spying threat on campus with proposed research clampdown

The burdens of such a program are likely to far outweigh any benefits (mostly imagined). Universities must not be required to apply for a license from an anonymous military officer on the political desk (Bureau of Political-Military Affairs) of our State Department to teach students computational biology or any other subject or conduct laboratory experiments.

This is just another dangerous and mischievous form of watch-list metastasis more indicative of fascist and dictatorial forms of governments than an enlightened and modern democracy.

Hey, on the bright side our State Department, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs or clandestine services is not, yet declaring students and professors heretics, shooting them in the head on their way to school, or magnetically attaching shaped charge explosives to their vehicle as they commute to work!

UPDATED 12/07/2014 ReutersTrust, China reports new human case of H7N9 bird flu
UPDATED 11/17/2014 Reuters, Dutch authorities identify highly contagious bird flu strain (H5N8)
UPDATED 05/22/2014 Alantic, Scientists Are Creating New, Incurable Diseases in Labs
UPDATED 03/28/2014 NTI, Netherlands Overhauls Biosecurity Rules as Avian Flu Dispute Simmers

UPDATED 01/17/2014 ThomsonReutersTrust, Increasing H7N9 bird flu toll demands constant vigilance and China reports one more H7N9 bird flu death
UPDATED 01/09/2014 CBC, H5N1: Bird flu questions and answers  An isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza has been announced in Alberta.
UPDATED 11/25/2013 UPI, FDA approves avian flu vaccine
UPDATED 01/23/2013 Reuters, Bird flu studies, halted over terrorism fear, to resume and LAT, Controversial bird flu research to resume

Kudos to our scientific research community for transparently pursuing their research—rendering scientific research opaque based on a religious-zealotry-utility-harm-index is equal to or greater than the ignorance of a religious zealot (aka religious whack-job).

UPDATED 09/28/2012 PopSci, New Research Could Identify Nature’s Most Dangerous Viruses--If It’s Public

UPDATED 06/30/2012 Nature, Influenza: Five questions on H5N1 and Do not censor science in the name of biosecurity

UPDATED 05/02/2012 Nature, Mutant-flu paper published

UPDATED 03/31/2012 CBC News, Bird flu study publication cleared by U.S. biosecurity panel

UPDATED 02/18/2012 NYT, Despite Safety Worries, Work on Deadly Flu to Be Released

Fortunately, the scientific process has trumped the national security process whose metastasis threatens more than the information it purports to obscure or render incomprehensible.

UPDATED 02/15/2012 Reuters, Insight - Containing the world's deadliest microbes
UPDATED 01/02/2012 NYT,  How Hard Would It Be for Avian Flu to Spread?
UPDATED 12/22/2011 CTV, Journals asked to censor controversial bird flu studies
Section III-D-7. Experiments Involving Influenza Viruses (NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules May 2011)

..."Experiments with influenza viruses generated by recombinant methods (e.g., generation by reverse genetics of chimeric viruses with reassorted segments, introduction of specific mutations) shall be conducted at the biosafety level containment corresponding to the risk group of the virus that was the source of the majority of segments in the recombinant virus (e.g., experiments with viruses containing a majority of segments from a RG3 virus shall be conducted at BL3). Experiments with influenza viruses containing genes or segments from 1918-1919 H1N1 (1918 H1N1), human H2N2 (1957-1968) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strains within the Goose/Guangdong/96-like H5 lineage (HPAI H5N1) shall be conducted at BL3 enhanced containment (see Appendix G-II-C-5, Biosafety Level 3 Enhanced for Research Involving Risk Group 3 Influenza Viruses) unless indicated below."...
...Section III-D-7a-d
NYT, Seeing Terror Risk, U.S. Asks Journals to Cut Flu Study Facts


-----notes-----

1. There is of course a "night-day" difference between impeding the free flow of scientific data which is not in the public interest and impeding the free flow of a virus, which is in the public interest. Stated differently the unimpeded flow of scientific data (not just scientists or those deemed to have a need-to-know) is required to impede the free flow of viruses.

Although peer reviewed journals, research centers and universities are amazing channels of innovation it would be foolish to assume they are the only channels of innovation in our era of ubiquitous knowledge.

Additional information links:

Select Agents and Toxins List
IFBA
DTRA, Nunn-Lugar Biological Threat Reduction Program
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) 
UPDATED 12/10/2016 NSABB, BioSecurity and Oversight 

2. Those knowledgeable about our classification system know our government is capable of asserting an infinite number of reasons, real and imagined for imposing or perpetuating a "need-to-know" requirement for the purpose of ensuring data remains opaque.

Moreover, our classification system has proven impervious to reform, notwithstanding determined efforts by government transparency advocates and experts. So impervious is our classification system that even when data are known to the world our government pretends a "need-to-know" still applies!

Furthermore, when data are pried loose or leaked from our classification system, experts frequently have difficulty intuiting any reason for the data classification—there is no government accountability for any mysterious or incorrect data classification.

3. Evidently, our "new" alt-white-house's idea for preparation involves drafting cannon fodder for its expected conflicts—maybe its supporters will sign-up to follow an unfit commander-in-chief to war (FAS, Principles for Reforming The Military Selective Service Process)?

4. Those with a penchant to continually offer alt-explanations for our "new" alt-white-house's unfitness might enjoy pursing May/June Foreign Affairs, Present at the Destruction? Those in lockstep with our "new" alt-white-house's neocon clowns might find UniDir, Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks interesting?

No comments:

Post a Comment