Because the US authorities believed it was dangerous, a type of experiment against bird flu now has a clear green light. Since the Laboratory already has public funds to carry out research, other experts oppose the risk that these studies indicate.
If something goes wrong, the result can be a catastrophe. A group of American scientists warned that the government of that country could finance "dangerous experiments" with public money that could lead to a pandemic.
Indeed, the risk of these investigations led to the expiration of four years ago, but now the authorities have reopened the path to development.
These are controversial laboratory investigations that are manipulated by the tension of the viral flu virus.
According to criticism, it is risky that these experiments could open doors that could be highly contagious viruses that have not been transmitted to humans to infect thousands of people.
"The reason for these experiments is to be a contagious human being for the virus," says Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard Public Health School, and one of their critics. studies
"It's a small scientific value, but it is a very common risk," says Lipsitch. "I do not know why they do that."
What are these studies? What is its purpose and why are they so controversial?
Discover about the virus
One of the targeted projects is at the University of Wisconsin, National Institutes of Health (NIH), with US public health research research funds.
Experiments, such as the H5N1 bird flu virus and the virus that is transmitted to the animal by Ferret, are infected.
This virus is very deadly for humans, but so far it has not been reported to people.
According to the researcher, the goal is to know how to spread viruses and, thus, to stop the spread of mammals.
The idea is to prepare humans for this type of virus.
"The only way to stop pandemic is how to transfer these viruses to scientific knowledge," says BBC Mundo Rebecca Moritz, a biosafety microbiologist, who looks after this type of experiment at the University of Wisconsin.
"The goal is not to create a virus that is intentionally transmitted."
But that's not the greatest Lipsitchen.
According to him, no one would want to use a virus as a weapon or a failure in the ventilation system that causes an explosion to occur in the laboratory or to release the virus.
"It's likely," he says, "that someone makes a mistake and faces these viruses, to start transmitting to others and exploding".
"Someone suffered from dangerous pathogens in most cases, he thought he was working with safe material."
Lipsitch admits that the risk of a pandemic-stricken experiment is very low, "but that does not mean that this is safe."
Moritz claims that the project is safe and indicates a "very small" risk, which has allowed NIH money.
Why do you like that?
There are many ways to carry out experiments with viruses, but according to Lipsitch, in this case, the best option has been chosen.
"If you want to prepare a pandemic, you can do a lot of things, all safe, except this type of work," he says.
For him, the risk of experiments with viruses, there are other methods that have more sense.
One option, for example, may be to influence the human flu and to try to make changes and prevent changes like bird flu.
This method is expensive and difficult, according to Lipsitchen, it would be better to compare fluctuations in bird flu and human flu, analyze their properties and analyze their differences.
"This would provide traces that affect mankind's adaptation."
Moritz, once again, does not agree.
"These methodologies can not be far removed," he says. "Flu viruses are very diverse so it is not necessarily a flu virus to replace with another virus."
Those who face these investigations have also stated that the government allowed them the process to be clear.
At BBC World, NIH asked questions about the experiment and admission process, but we did not respond immediately.
Department of Health and Human Services. (HHS), as reported by the NIH, was reviewed by a group of experts who were confident that it was clear for the investigation.
However, the HHS spokesman for the journal Science warns that the effects of the panel can not be published, as they have confidential information on the laboratory that will develop their experiments, which could benefit their competitors.
With Lipsitch, this decision favors the secrets of trade of some scientists, above all, the right to know about initiatives that can affect them.
Critics say they accepted the experiments with the secret.
Richard Ebrigh, a scientist from the University of Rutgers, opens the "alarming and indefensible" feature.
Moritz defends the project, said the review process was transparent and included the concept of international experts and public hearings.
Is it worth the risk?
According to science, those who are in this research must comply with the following regulations: immediately notify the authorities, if they identify a highly dangerous Wave H5N1 and transmit it to airborne Ferrets; or develop a contaminating agent resistant to anti-virus medications.
"I think someone has the value of this experiment excessive or I have decided to do so without taking risks," says Lipsitch.
On the other hand, the project continues, but according to Moritz, there is not yet a specific date to show the first results.
Meanwhile, Lipsitche stressed that it is worth the risk.
"Experiencing the risk of human life's life must be one of the most important experiments of this century, it must be very special," he says, and nobody explains anything about this experiment. "