Posted: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013
By Rick Couri
The research comes after a woman apparently died after contracting the H7N9 bird flu virus from her father who also died.
Previously the disease had only been transmitted to humans from birds.
Scientists say in order to learn more about the virus and how it may be changing they need to create a more transmissible version in their lab.
Science magazine reports more than 20 experts say the action "is necessary and should be done, the risk of a pandemic caused by an avian influenza virus exists in nature."
Opponents say creating a new, more easily passed along disease is asking for trouble.
Their concerns are based on fears that poorly funded researchers outside the US might not be properly monitored and may do dangerous work.
They also worry that those with evil intentions may try to obtain the virus.
Government workers say the process will be closely watched and any unusual actions will be reported.