Academics taking odds on a worldwide pandemic

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is putting up $250,000 to fund a novel approach to tracking the risk of a bird flu pandemic. The money will be distributed in $100 allotments to about 100 experts who will use the money to bet on the likelihood of an outbreak, creating a futures market for a global pandemic. An academic group at the University of Iowa is establishing the system, which it says will work much like the futures market does in agriculture, giving farmers insight into which crops they should plant.

- see this release for more
- read the AP report on the pandemic experiment

ALSO: China reported a human case of bird flu as conflicting reports about an agreement between Indonesia and WHO over access to flu samples hit the wires. Report

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