Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Creating a better bird flu vaccine



'A few months ago, when researchers analyzed the genome of the devastating 1918 influenza, they found it to be a direct descendant of a common bird-flu strain, with just a few disparate amino acids here and there. The finding cast a chilling new light on the most lethal modern bird flu, known as H5N1, which has already killed at least 70 people in Asia but isn't transmissible between humans—yet. With just a bit of mutation, could H5N1 turn contagious and become the 21st century's Black Plague?' More

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