This special issue is available to AAAS members and institutional subscribers. As a service to the community, AAAS is also making these articles free to the public.


The publication in this issue of these research papers on the airborne tranimssion of H5N1 marks the end of 8 months of controversy over whether some of the data, now freely accessible, should be withheld in the public interest.

Policy Forum

Benefits and Risks of Influenza Research: Lessons Learned

Public concern over two H5N1 influenza manuscripts has triggered intense discussion on dual-use research and the way forward.


Airborne Transmission of Avian Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Between Ferrets

Avian flu can acquire the capacity for airborne transmission between mammals without recombination in an intermediate host.


The Potential for Respiratory Droplet-Transmissible A/H5N1 Influenza Virus to Evolve in a Mammalian Host

Some natural influenza viruses need only three amino acid substitutions to acquire airborne transmissibility between mammals.


Regulating the Boundaries of Dual-Use Research

Government must balance many competing interests in its regulation of science.
Policy Forum

Implementing the New U.S. Dual-Use Policy

Recent dual-use provisions from the federal government may provide more questions than answers.


Securing Medical Research: A Cybersecurity Point of View

Lessons from cryptography illustrate that neither secrecy measures, such as deleting technical details, nor national solutions, such as export controls, will work for biological research data.

Policy Forum

Evolution, Safety, and Highly Pathogenic Influenza Viruses

Future experiments with virulent pathogens whose accidental or deliberate release could lead to extensive spread in human populations should be limited by explicit risk-benefit considerations.

Policy Forum

Influenza: Options to Improve Pandemic Preparation

While we wait for the development of a universal influenza vaccine, we have practical options to reduce the risk of mass global mortality from the next influenza pandemic.