Two groups of scientists responsible for creating a new strain of the lethal avian flu, known to be “probably one of the most dangerous viruses you can make,” have reluctantly agreed to eliminate certain details from manuscripts describing their highly controversial work, only after having been asked to do so by the US government.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) had recommended that HHS ask the studies’ authors and the editors of the journals Science and Nature journal to publish a revised version of the study, and to delete any details regarding both scientific methodology and specific viral mutations before publishing.

They eliminated details may still be “provided to all those responsible scientists who request it, as part of their legitimate efforts to improve public health and safety,” said Dr. Bruce Albert, the Editor-in-Chief of Science in a statement.

The two reports, which had generated global media attention, were both reviewed by the NSABB. The papers studies also caused controversy among scientists, security experts, and officials in the U.S. government.

The reports demonstrated how certain genetic mutations in the H5N1 virus could make the infection more contagious among mammals, including humans. Scientists fear that this H5N1 strain that spreads efficiently between people could potentially kill millions of individuals.

Scientists who wrote the H5N1 paper under review at Science have grudgingly agreed to the recommendation, according to one of the authors Albert Osterhaus of Erasmus MC in the Netherlands. The group had received NSABB’s written recommendations on Dec.1 and proceeded to send Science a revised paper more than a week ago.

However, Osterhaus said to American Association for the Advancement of Science that he completely disagrees with the NSABB verdict.

"This is unprecedented," said Osterhaus, who believes that public health benefits most through making information widely available.

Both Nature and Science have issued statements disagreeing with the request, and expressed that deleting certain information would restrict public access to information that could advance the cause of public health.

"It is essential for public health that the full details of any scientific analysis of flu viruses be available to researchers," according to a statement issued by Dr. Philip Campbell, editor in chief of Nature.

"We are discussing with interested parties how, within the scenario recommended by NSABB, appropriate access to the scientific methods and data could be enabled," Dr. Bruce Alberts, editor in chief of Science magazine, said in a statement.

Alberts said that it is critical for scientists who specialize in influenza to know the details of the research to be able to protect the public, and said that the editors at Science are evaluating how best to proceed.

"Our response will be heavily dependent upon the further steps taken by the U.S. government to set forth a written, transparent plan to ensure that any information that is omitted from the publication will be provided to all those responsible scientists who request it, as part of their legitimate efforts to improve public health and safety," Alberts said.