(NEW SCIENTIST) — The world’s top flu virologists have vowed to stop working on any experiments that could lead to the H5N1 bird flu virus becoming more transmissible – at least, for the next 60 days. It’s a good gesture, but whether 60 days is enough to really deal with the Pandora’s box they have opened is another matter.

As we reported in September, two labs – in the Netherlands and the US – finally breached the genetic barrier that stopped H5N1 bird flu from spreading easily through the air between mammals – in this case, ferrets, who get flu a lot like we do.

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