H5N1 avian influenza virus particles
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Bird flu virus: Scientists to create contagious form

Scientists are to restart controversial research, that involves creating a highly contagious form of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

There has been a voluntary global ban on such work for the past year because of fears that it could escape accidentally or fall into the hands of terrorists.

But scientists from the Netherlands have announced they will start their research again.

Professor Ron Fouchier, who is part of the team which will conduct the research at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said that what they were doing was vital.