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Scientists behind lab-bred bird flu suspend research for 60 days amid debate over next steps
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The scientists who created easier-to-spread versions of the deadly bird flu say they are temporarily halting more research, as international specialists debate what should happen next.
Last month, U.S. officials had urged two labs not to publicly reveal how they brewed the new viruses, for fear would-be bioterrorists might copy them. Critics also worried a lab accident might allow the strains to escape.
The viruses are held in high-security labs in the U.S. and the Netherlands. They were created to help learn how bird flu might mutate to become a bigger threat to people. But in a letter Friday to the journals Science and Nature, the scientists said they would "pause" additional research for 60 days as world health officials debate how to learn from the work, safely.