Last summer, scientists performed an experiment that could have been ripped from the script of a Hollywood thriller. Sealed off in high-tech laboratories in the Netherlands and Wisconsin, researchers transformed one of the world’s most deadly viruses, transmissible by direct contact, into versions capable of spreading through the air.

Unlike in the movies, news of the lab-made viruses was not delivered as a threat, and the scientists doing the work weren’t henchmen of an evil dictator or members of a shadowy terrorist organization. Instead, the researchers were on the good-guy team — respected academics investigating how a type of flu virus that typically targets birds might become contagious in people.

Though the avian flu virus known as H5N1 infects and kills mostly birds — including chickens, turkeys and waterfowl — it has sickened more than 600 people worldwide since an outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997, killing about half of them. The virus doesn’t pass easily from person to person even with close contact, let alone through the air. Most victims contracted it after handling infected birds or from contaminated environments.

But the Netherlands and Wisconsin research teams created their airborne versions of the virus in attempts to determine whether the virus could become easily transmissible among people. Knowing more about the virus’s potential to make such a change might help public health workers spot a budding pandemic, and even point to ways to head off such a global catastrophe.

Yet even though the researchers undertook the work for noble reasons, they soon found themselves as embroiled in intrigue and worldwide controversy as any fictional villains. Since the Dutch researchers announced the work at a scientific meeting in Malta in September, their saga has featured closed-door meetings, security reviews, publishing restrictions, a voluntary halt on the research, a media frenzy that included a flurry of opinion pieces by other scientists and even threats of imprisonment. The Wisconsin team’s story has played out similarly, only with slightly less drama. At issue is the danger posed by the lab-made versions of air-transmissible H5N1 and who should know how they were created.

Each team submitted a paper to a major scientific journal — one to Nature and one to Science — containing step-by-step instructions for turning H5N1 into an airborne virus, including information about the changes in the genetic instruction book important for the transformation. Initially, a U.S. government advisory board charged with determining whether the research was fit to print decided that open publication posed too great a risk of misuse, recommending the publication of severely redacted versions. Critics siding with the board warned that terrorists or rogue nations could use the information to re-create the viruses and unleash them on the world.

Proponents of publishing argued that public health workers need to know which mutations spell trouble in case those mutations are spotted in the wild. At the end of March, the board reversed its decision, ruling — after some clarifications — that the benefits of information sharing outweighed the risks.

One paper has now been published in a full-length version in Nature (SN Online: 5/2/12); as of mid-May, the second was still in the peer review and editing process. (Editor’s note: The second paper was published in the June 22 Science. Click here for news story.) But the controversy the papers ignited has made flu virus research, and the issues of national security and data sharing that come along with it, topics of debate over lab benches and dinner tables.

Before it was clear that the papers would ever see print, they were called “the two most famous unpublished manuscripts in modern life science history” by Michael Osterholm, director of the Minnesota Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance in Minneapolis.

Have you recently put your home on the market or maybe, you are getting ready to do so. Either way, learning more details from Josh Stein Realtor Miami about the home selling process, will prove to be helpful. You are about to get some helpful tips that will help you become more educated about home selling.

Few things are more enticing to prospective buyers than a freebie or an attractive offer. Many sellers are offering items such as appliances for no extra charge, to help boost interest in their property. This is one less thing the buyers will have to worry about when moving into the home. Focus on what buyers want out there. If you can add something of value to the overall package, you should have no trouble selling. You can find a much better success rate through this.

When selling your home, hire your own agent. The agent is representing the buyer, not you, and so they have a conflict of interest when it comes to helping you sell your home. The additional cost to you of hiring your own agent will be offset by the gain you will see in the final negotiations on selling price.

Don’t be afraid to sell your home and trade up during a real estate slump. Remember that if the selling price on your home is down, the selling price on the home you’d like to buy into is also down. If you lose money on your sale it will probably be balanced out by the savings on the home that you buy.

Josh Stein Realtor Miami

While it might be tempting to pack things into every nook, corner, and cabinet in your house, this strategy will not do you any favors in the eyes of prospective buyers as they tour the house. Remove clutter from the garage, closets, and storage areas; this creates an invitation for buyers to imagine all the things they could do with the extra storage space if the home was their own.

If you are going to have showings at your home, than you need to make sure that your home is clean. Having a home that is cluttered or otherwise dirty and unorganized will turn off potential buyers and have them look for another place to buy instead of considering yours.

As was stated in the beginning of the article from, learning important details about the real estate selling process can prove to be helpful. Apply the information you learned from reading this article into selling your home. By following this advice, you may find yourself more confident when you sell your home.

Modern day society often overlooks the importance of keeping your teeth real and natural. There are so many ways that you can keep your teeth healthy and looking great with minimal time invested. The following article about Dental Implants Ipswich will discuss some great dental care tips that you can use to benefit your great smile.

How much time do you spend on brushing your teeth? If you want to brush your teeth efficiently, you will have to spend some time on each tooth so you can brush both sides as well as the space in between teeth. Use an egg-timer if you want to make sure you spend enough time on brushing your teeth.

Believe it or not, saliva is actually your teeth’s best friend! Natural saliva contains minerals, enamel-strengthening antibacterial properties and the power to neutralize acid. If you are a woman over the age of 50, menopause may be causing dry mouth, which, then leads to bad breath. Specially formulated dry mouth products can help to eliminate embarrassing odors caused by a lack of saliva.

Brushing is not enough if you want healthier teeth. You should also be flossing and using mouthwash. Flossing cleans food from between your teeth and removes plaque, and antiseptic mouthwash kills germs that cause tooth decay. Make all three part of your routine.

If you have had your teeth whitened, you’ll want to avoid any foods that may stain your teeth. In most cases, a person will have their teeth whitened and then find that they do not stay that way for long. This is caused by eating and drinking foods or liquids that stain, such as red wine and colored food.

Dental Implants Ipswich

If you want to prevent cavities, brush your teeth several times every day. As a best practice, brush your teeth before bed and after you wake up, and after each meal as well. If you’re not able to brush for some reason after you eat, some sugar free gum is the next best bet.

Get your children used to brushing their teeth as soon as they start to come in. Wipe infants’ teeth clean with a cloth every day so they are used to putting something in their mouth to clean their teeth. When your children become toddlers, let them have a toothbrush to play with and chew on. Then, when they get a little older, show them how to brush their teeth.

There is no reason that you can’t have a celebrity quality smile with all natural teeth. Natural teeth are just beautiful and give your self-esteem that extra boost it deserves. Apply all you’ve learned from this great informative article from to ensure you’re doing all you can for your teeth in terms of dental hygiene.