New Scientist: China denies bird flu research findings
In the spirit of the 1930s Soviet biologist Trofim Lysenko, China is ignoring science it finds inconvenient. The head of the ministry of agriculture’s veterinary bureau, Jia Youling, has rejected research on bird flu published in the journal Nature last week by Yi Guan and his colleagues at the universities of Hong Kong and Shantou.
The paper concluded from genetic analysis that the H5N1 bird flu killing migratory birds at Qinghai Lake in north-west China had come from southern China. An independent team in Beijing reported similar findings. Chinese officials had claimed that the virus came from another country. Last week Jia told the official Xinhua news service that Guan’s paper “made the wrong conclusion” and “lacks credibility” because birds do not fly to Qinghai from southern China – even though this is a well-known migratory route.
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