IAEA Imagebank via Flickr CC

A federally appointed ethics panel has rejected a proposal to deliberately infect people with Zika virus, a common practice known as a human challenge study.

It was denied because there was "substantial uncertainty about the risks to potential volunteers," as well as potential risk to sexual partners, fetuses, and other members of the community. There are currently four experimental Zika vaccines in the earliest stages of human testing, according to STAT, but there is concern that the outbreak will be receding by the time vaccines are ready for testing in Phase 3 trials.

The unknowns: The panel cited how much has been discovered about Zika in the last six months alone about transmission and side effects as a reason to hold back right now. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH's NIAID, told STAT he would likely approve a study on Zika infection side effects first.

What's ruffling feathers: The search for a vaccine is hampered with this decision, and any research group that wants to prove a vaccine works will want to conduct large human trials.

Go deeper

U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns of racial inequality for small businesses

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality are changing quickly as protests and media attention have helped highlight the gaps in opportunity between white- and minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Driving the news: A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife provided early to Axios shows a 17-point increase in the number of small business owners who say minority-owned small businesses face more challenges than non-minority-owned ones.

BP's in the red, slashing its dividend and vowing a greener future

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

BP posted a $6.7 billion second-quarter loss and cut its dividend in half Tuesday while unveiling accelerated steps to transition its portfolio toward low-carbon sources.

Why it matters: The announcement adds new targets and details to its February vow to become a "net-zero" emissions company by mid-century.

Women-focused non-profit newsrooms surge forward in 2020

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Women are pushing back against the gender imbalance in media by launching their own news nonprofits and focusing on topics many traditional news companies have long ignored.

Why it matters: "The news business is already gendered," says Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of The 19th*, a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of women, politics and policy.