Human Error May Have Caused H1N1

Australia researcher says virus may have accidentally evolved in egg science labs.

Was the H1N1 virus a product of human error? Adrian Gibbs, who collaborated in the development of Tamiflu says he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in egg scientists use to grow viruses and drug makers use to make vaccines. The World Health Organization is said to be investigating the claim made by the Australian researcher.

Gibbs says by pinpointing the source of the virus, scientists may better understand the microbe's potential for spreading and causing illness. Gibbs has studied germ evolution for four decades and is one of the first scientists to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus that was identified three weeks ago in Mexico and spread world-wide.

Keiji Fukuda, WHO's assistant director-general of health security and environment, says a virus that resulted from lab experimentation or vaccine production may indicate a greater need for security. Fukuda wants an assessment of the science behind the claim.

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